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Health Expect. 2020 Jan 22. doi: 10.1111/hex.13016. [Epub ahead of print]

Communicating cancer risk in the primary care consultation when using a cancer risk assessment tool: Qualitative study with service users and practitioners.

Author information

1
Community and Health Research Unit, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK.
2
Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cancer risk assessment tools are designed to help detect cancer risk in symptomatic individuals presenting to primary care. An early detection of cancer risk could mean early referral for investigations, diagnosis and treatment, helping to address late diagnosis of cancer. It is not clear how best cancer risk may be communicated to patients when using a cancer risk assessment tool to assess their risk of developing cancer.

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to explore the perspectives of service users and primary care practitioners on communicating cancer risk information to patients, when using QCancer, a cancer risk assessment tool.

DESIGN:

A qualitative study involving the use of individual interviews and focus groups.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Conducted in primary care settings in Lincolnshire with a convenience sample of 36 participants (19 service users who were members of the public) and 17 primary care practitioners (general practitioners and practice nurses).

RESULTS:

Participants suggested ways to improve communication of cancer risk information: personalizing risk information; involving patients in use of the tool; sharing risk information openly; and providing sufficient time when using the tool during consultations.

CONCLUSION:

Communication of cancer risk information is complex and difficult. We identified strategies for improving communication with patients involving cancer risk estimations in primary care consultations.

KEYWORDS:

QCancer; cancer risk assessment tools; cancer risk communication; general practitioners; primary care; service user views

PMID:
31967704
DOI:
10.1111/hex.13016

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