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Improving communication between the general practitioner and the oncologist: a key role in coordinating care for patients suffering from cancer

Abstract : Background: Patients suffering from cancers are increasingly numerous in general practice consultations. The General Practitioner (GP) should be at the heart of the management of patients. Several studies have examined the perceptions of GPs confronted with the patient suffering from cancer and the relationships of GPs with oncologists, but few studies have focused on the patients' perspective. We studied the three-way relationship between the oncologist, the GP, and the patient, from the patient's point of view. Methods: A questionnaire validated by a group consisting of GPs, oncologists, nurses, an epidemiologist and quality analyst, was administered over a three-week period to patients suffering from cancer receiving chemotherapy in a day hospital. Results: The analysis was based on 403 questionnaires. Patients had confidence in the GP's knowledge of oncology in 88% of cases; 49% consulted their GP for pain, 15% for cancer-related advice, and 44% in emergencies. Perceived good GP/oncologist communication led patients to turn increasingly to their GP for cancer-related consultations (RR = 1.14; p = 0.01) and gave patients confidence in the GP's ability to manage cancer-related problems (RR = 1.30; p < 0.01). Mention by the oncologist of the GP's role increased the consultations for complications (RR = 1.82; p < 0.01) as well as recourse to the GP in an emergency (RR = 1.35; p < 0.01). Conclusion: Patients suffering from cancer considered that the GP was competent, but did not often consult their GP for cancer-related problems. There is a discrepancy between patients' beliefs and their behaviour. When the oncologist spoke to patients of the GP's role, patients had recourse to their GP more often. Systematically integrating a GP consultation to conclude cancer diagnosis disclosure, could improve management and care coordination.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 9:45:49 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 4:32:40 AM
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Vladimir Druel, Laetitia Gimenez, Kim Paricaud, Jean-Pierre Delord, Pascale Grosclaude, et al.. Improving communication between the general practitioner and the oncologist: a key role in coordinating care for patients suffering from cancer. BMC Cancer, BioMed Central, 2020, 20 (1), pp.495. ⟨10.1186/s12885-020-06993-0⟩. ⟨inserm-02914008⟩



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