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Cancer follow-up care. Patients' perspectives.

Author(s): Miedema B | MacDonald I | Tatemichi S

Journal: Canadian Family Physician
ISSN 0008-350X

Volume: 49;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 890;
Date: 2003;
Original page

OBJECTIVE: To assess family physicians' and specialists' involvement in cancer follow-up care and how this involvement is perceived by cancer patients. DESIGN: Self-administered survey. SETTING: A health region in New Brunswick. PARTICIPANTS: A nonprobability cluster sample of 183 participants. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients' perceptions of cancer follow-up care. RESULTS: More than a third of participants (36%) were not sure which physician was in charge of their cancer follow-up care. As part of follow-up care, 80% of participants wanted counseling from their family physicians, but only 20% received it. About a third of participants (32%) were not satisfied with the follow-up care provided by their family physicians. In contrast, only 18% of participants were dissatisfied with the follow-up care provided by specialists. Older participants were more satisfied with cancer follow-up care than younger participants. CONCLUSION: Cancer follow-up care is increasingly becoming part of family physicians' practices. Family physicians need to develop an approach that addresses patients' needs, particularly in the area of emotional support.
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