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Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2019 Jan;28(1):e12927. doi: 10.1111/ecc.12927. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Cancer patients' experiences with urgent referrals to cancer patient pathways.

Author information

1
Documentation & Quality, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2
Research Unit for General Practice, Research Centre for Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to explore whether cancer patients urgently referred to a cancer patient pathway (CPP) (CPP referred) by a general practitioner report experiences of pre-diagnosis cancer care differently than patients not referred to a CPP (non-CPP referred).

METHODS:

Data were collected from cross-sectional questionnaire surveys among cancer patients and their GPs and linked to National registries. Poisson regression was used to generate adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) to compare reported experiences.

RESULTS:

The study included 2,256 individuals. CPP referred patients reported more positive overall experiences of the pre-diagnosis phase (p < 0.001). Overall, CPP referred patients were 21% more likely than non-CPP referred patients to report a positive experience after adjustment for case-mix, comorbidity, disposable household income and educational level (PR = 1.21 [95% CI: 1.11-1.30]). The difference decreased to 14% when adjusted for Quality Deviations (PR = 1.14 [95% CI: 1.06-1.23]) and to 11% when adjusted for diagnostic interval (PR = 1.11 [95% CI: 1.02-1.20]).

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest that CPP referred cancer patients have better experiences of pre-diagnosis cancer care compared to non-CPP referred patients. A substantial part of the difference could be attributed to shorter diagnostic intervals and/or the absence of quality deviations among CPP patients, which reveals the potential for generally improving cancer patients' experiences by seamless and optimised diagnostic pathways.

KEYWORDS:

cancer; cancer patient pathways; general practice; neoplasm; patient experiences

PMID:
30303244
DOI:
10.1111/ecc.12927
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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