754 (Op) Should General Practitioners Participate In Cancer Follow-Up?

Conference: 
Author(s): 
K. Holtedahl, T. Anvik, J. Norum, E. Richardsen, H. Mikalsen
Community Medicine, University of Tromsa, Norway
Text: 
BACKGROUND/AIM:
Cancer patients struggle with serious disease and need to see doctors who understand their whole medical situation. The study looks at whether early follow-up contact with the GP improves patient quality of life and satisfaction.
METHODS:
Cancer patients in Troms›, Northern Norway, diagnosed during a one-year period from 1 October 1999 to 30 September 2000, were invited to the study. 177 patients fulfilled inclusion criteria. 23 of them died during treatment and 63 others were not included for various reasons. 91 patients returned two questionnaires and were randomised to receiving or not receiving an invitation to a half-hour consultation with the patient's GP. The GP was asked to let the patient tell about his experiences as a cancer patient, and to invite the patient to contact the doctor liberally. Towards the end of the consultation, the patient's answers to three open questions about his general well-being were recorded. The 157 patients were re-invited to another consultation six months later after having returned a second set of questionnaires. Towards the end of the study, interviews with some of the GPs dealt with the doctor's participation in cancer care for individual patients.
RESULTS:
The intervention did not improve quality of life or patient satisfaction in the randomised group. However, interventions of this kind could be effective for many selected patients, as shown by the interviews with the GPs and by written comments from patients and relatives.
CONCLUSION:
The GP should participate in cancer follow-up for selected patients.
Literature: 
754 (OP) SHOULD GENERAL PRACTITIONERS PARTICIPATE IN CANCER FOLLOW-UP?