Involvement of the family physician in the care of chemotherapy-treated patients with cancer: Patients' perspectives

Eytan Ben-Ami, Hadar Merom, Fabienne Sikron, Jessica Livneh, Siegal Sadetzki, Ido Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Increasing numbers of patients receive active ambulatory oncology treatment over prolonged periods of time. Many of these patients suffer from additional comorbidities and require comprehensive medical care. We aimed to assess the perception of patients with cancer regarding the role of the family physician and the oncologist in their care during times of active cancer treatment. Patients and Methods: A survey was conducted among 265 consecutive chemotherapy-treated patients at the daycare oncology clinic. Results: All the patients were affiliated with one of four Israeli health maintenance organizations, 96% had a regular family physician, and 70% had met with him during the preceding month. Only one third of the patients thought their family physician was trained to or was willing to treat medical problems that occurred during chemotherapy treatment. Yet most patients, irrespective of clinical or socioeconomic variables, stated that involvement of the family physician was important to them. Only 30% stated that the oncologist communicated with the family physician. Accordingly, 72% of the patients stated that in the case of an urgent problem they would turn first to the oncology clinic; only 9% would consult their family physician. Conclusions: Our data point to a lack of communication between team members and inadequate medical training as major barriers for comprehensive medical care for chemothera-py- treated patients with cancer. Communication between treating teams may improve medical care for oncology patients with multiple treating practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oncology Practice
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

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