Role of the general practitioner during the active breast cancer treatment phase: an analysis of health care use

C. Roorda, G.H. de Bock, W.J. van der Veen, A. Lindeman, L. Jansen, K. van der Meer

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

29 Citaten (Scopus)
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Little is known about the actual involvement of the general practitioner (GP) during the active breast cancer treatment phase. Therefore, this study explored (disease-specific) primary health care use among women undergoing active treatment for breast cancer compared with women without breast cancer.

A total of 185 women with a first diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer between 1998 and 2007 were identified in the primary care database of the Registration Network Groningen and matched with a reference population of 548 women without breast cancer on birth year and GP.

Since diagnosis, patients with breast cancer had twice as many face-to-face contacts compared with women from the reference population (median 6.0 vs 3.0/year, Mann-Whitney (M-W) test p <0.001). The median number of drug prescriptions and referrals was also significantly higher among patients than among the reference population (11.0 vs 7.0/year, M-W test p <0.001 and 1.0 vs 0.0/year, M-W test p <0.001). More patients than women from the reference population had face-to-face contacts or were prescribed drugs for reasons related to breast cancer and its treatment, including gastrointestinal problems, psychological reasons and endocrine therapy.

During the active breast cancer treatment phase, GPs are involved in the management of treatment-related side effects and psychological symptoms, as well as in the administration of endocrine therapy. Based on the findings of this study, interventions across the primary/secondary interface can be planned to improve quality of life and other outcomes in patients undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)705-714
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftSupportive Care in Cancer
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - apr.-2012

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