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Support Care Cancer. 2005 Nov;13(11):949-56. Epub 2005 Jul 16.

Do cancer patients benefit from short-term contact with a general practitioner following cancer treatment? A randomised, controlled study.

Author information

1
Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway. knutarne.holtedahl@ism.uit.no

Abstract

GOALS OF WORK:

To investigate whether increased contact with the patient's general practitioner (GP) soon after cancer treatment can increase patient quality of life (QoL) and satisfaction with follow-up.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A randomised controlled study with 91 patients from one Norwegian municipality. The intervention group got a 30-min invited consultation with the patient's GP and an invitation to further GP follow-up. Quality of life and patient satisfaction with diagnosis, treatment and overall care were measured with validated instruments.

MAIN RESULTS:

Relatives' satisfaction with care increased over 6 months in the intervention group (P = 0.018), but otherwise, there was no difference between the intervention and control groups concerning QoL, satisfaction with care or number of consultations. Patient satisfaction with care showed a tendency to increase when treatment intent was curative. Some functional QoL measures and satisfaction tended to increase during the first 6 months after treatment. Free text comments suggested that some patients appreciated the contact with their GP.

CONCLUSION:

Some cancer patients benefit from follow-up by their GP. The way to perform this kind of follow-up in primary care, and who these cancer patients are, should be further studied. Short follow-up time and an urban setting may have contributed to the lack of group differences in our study, but patients treated for cancer may have limited need for follow-up as long as they feel well and the situation remains stable.

PMID:
16025260
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-005-0869-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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