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Can Fam Physician. 2001 Oct;47:2009-12, 2015-6.

Family physicians and cancer care. Palliative care patients' perspectives.

Author information

1
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore factors that affect the integrity of palliative cancer patients' relationships with family physicians and to ascertain their perceptions of their FPs' roles in their care.

DESIGN:

Qualitative study using grounded-theory methods, taped semistructured interviews, and chart reviews.

SETTING:

Two palliative care hospital wards in Winnipeg, Man.

PARTICIPANTS:

A purposeful sample of 11 men and 14 women.

METHOD:

Qualitative content analysis of interview transcripts.

MAIN FINDINGS:

Cancer care is organized in a sequential, parallel, or shared manner between FPs and cancer specialists, with sequential care a common outcome if patients' relationships with their FPs wane. Cancer patients can lose contact with FPs because of patient or physician relocation, distrust over delays in diagnosis, failure to perceive a need for FPs, poor communication between FPs and specialists, and a lack of FP involvement in the hospital. People with cancer value FPs for being accessible through prompt appointments and telephone contact; for providing emotional and family support; and for referral, triage, and general medical care.

CONCLUSION:

Family physicians can enhance care of cancer patients. Contact with FPs can be maintained by ensuring good communication between specialists and FPs, defining a clear role for FPs, addressing concerns about delays in diagnosis, and referring patients back to FPs, particularly after hospitalization.

PMID:
11723595
PMCID:
PMC2018446
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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