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Eur J Gen Pract. 2016 Jun;22(2):96-102. doi: 10.3109/13814788.2015.1126821. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

What role does the general practitioner in France play among cancer patients during the initial treatment phase with intravenous chemotherapy? A qualitative study.

Author information

1
a Department of General Practice , Université Paris-Sud , Le Kremlin-Bicêtre , France ;
2
b Université Paris Ouest , Sophiapol (LASCO) , Nanterre , France ;
3
c Department of Medical Oncology , Centre Antoine Lacassagne, Nice , France ;
4
d Department of Cancer Medicine , Gustave Roussy , Villejuif , France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

France's ethical and legal principles place general practitioners (GPs) at the forefront of cancer patient management, coordination, and follow-up. The objective of this study was to determine the actual role of GPs in the follow-up phase as well as patient perspectives on their GPs.

METHOD:

A multidisciplinary group of researchers conducted this qualitative study based on in-depth interviews of 50 patients managed at two cancer centres. A content analysis method was used to analyse the study data.

RESULTS:

According to the patients interviewed for this study, their GPs were relatively ineffective at managing medical problems related to cancer by comparison with their oncologists. Nonetheless, the patients had all consulted their GPs during the interval between the diagnosis and our interview. Reasons given for consulting their GPs included administrative matters, psychological support, reassurance, and advice, but also to a lesser extent, medical management.

CONCLUSION:

Patients' perspectives called attention to two aspects of the role of GPs in the French healthcare system: (a) the importance of GPs within an effective system for managing cancer patients, and (b) for some patients, GPs' relative lack of medical skill compared to oncologists.

KEYWORDS:

General practice; attitude towards health; doctor-patient relationship; neoplasms; qualitative research

PMID:
26799829
DOI:
10.3109/13814788.2015.1126821
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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