Discharge of breast cancer patients to primary care at the end of hospital follow-up: A cross-sectional survey

Carriene Roorda*, Annette J. Berendsen, Manon Haverkamp, Klaas van der Meer, Geertruida H. de Bock

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

23 Citaten (Scopus)
360 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: The present study explored (a) the discharge of breast cancer patients to primary care by specialists, at the end of hospital follow-up and (b) the experiences and views of general practitioners (GPs) regarding transfer of follow-up to the primary care setting.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed by sending a self-administered questionnaire to 960 GPs working in the three northern provinces of the Netherlands. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Of 949 eligible questionnaires, 502 were returned, providing an adjusted response rate of 53%. In the year before the survey took place, one or more patients aged >60 years, and 5 years after breast-conserving therapy, were discharged to 22% of GPs (n = 112) for follow-up. According to 56% of these GPs, transfer of follow-up was communicated by the hospital. The initiative to arrange follow-up visits and mammography appointments was mainly taken by patients. In this survey, 40% of GPs (n = 200) were willing to accept exclusive responsibility for follow-up earlier than 5 years after completion of active treatment. Perceived barriers in current and future primary care-based follow-up included: communication with breast cancer specialists, patients' preference for specialist follow-up, GPs' oncology knowledge and skills and the organisation of follow-up in general practice.

Conclusions: Primary care-based follow-up might be improved if breast cancer specialists discharge patients more actively to their GPs. Survivorship care plans are needed to facilitate communication across the primary/secondary interface and with patients. Training of GPs and developing administrative tools may be helpful in arranging follow-up care and using guidelines in general practice. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1836-1844
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Cancer
Nummer van het tijdschrift8
StatusPublished - mei-2013

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