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J Clin Oncol. 2008 May 10;26(14):2272-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.14.7710.

Tailored chemotherapy information faxed to general practitioners improves confidence in managing adverse effects and satisfaction with shared care: results from a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Division of Haematology and Medical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Locked Bag 1, A'Beckett St, Victoria 8006, Australia.



General practitioners (GPs) play a critical role in the treatment of patients with cancer; yet often lack information for optimal care. We developed standardized information for GPs about chemotherapy (CT). In a randomized controlled trial we assessed the impact of sending, by fax, information tailored to the particular patient's CT regimen. Primary end points were: confidence treating patients who were receiving CT (confidence), knowledge of adverse effects and reasons to refer the patient to the treatment center (knowledge), and satisfaction with information and shared care of patients (satisfaction).


Focus group work informed the development of the CT information which focused on potential adverse effects and recommended management strategies. GPs of patients due to commence CT were randomly assigned to receive usual correspondence with or without the faxed patient/regimen-specific information. Telephone questionnaire at baseline and 1 week postintervention assessed knowledge, confidence, and satisfaction.


Ninety-seven GPs managed 97 patients receiving 23 types of CT. Eighty-one (83.5%) completed the follow-up questionnaire. GPs in the intervention group demonstrated a significantly greater increase in confidence (mean difference, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.10 to 0.47) and satisfaction (mean difference, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.27 to 0.88) compared with usual care, reflecting a 7.1% and 10.5% difference in score, respectively. No differences were detected for knowledge. GPs receiving the CT sheet found correspondence significantly more useful (P < .001) and instructive (P < .001) than GPs who received standard correspondence alone.


Information about CT faxed to GPs is a simple, inexpensive intervention that increases confidence managing CT adverse effects and satisfaction with shared care. This intervention could have widespread application.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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