Cancer patients often experience fragmented care, particularly as they undergo cancer treatments. Although family physicians seek to provide continuous and comprehensive care, they often lose touch with their cancer patients during the treatment phase. Researchers conducted a randomized intervention that aimed to improve continuity of care and interprofessional collaboration as perceived by lung cancer patients and their family physicians.
The components of the intervention included the bidirectional exchange of patient information and care summaries between oncology teams and family physicians. Oncology teams recommended that patients see their family physicians after their cancer diagnosis. At the same time, cancer patients received priority access to their family physicians when needed.
The authors conclude that the intervention improved patient and family physician perceptions of interprofessional collaboration. Patients reported improved care continuity. In its objective to address fragmented cancer care, the study implemented pragmatic strategies to improve information exchange between family practitioners and the oncology team that could be integrated into routine practice. These findings provide valuable insight into potential strategies to bridge the gap between primary care and oncology care.
Continuity of Cancer Care and Collaboration Between Family Physicians and Oncologists: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial
Michele Aubin, MD, PhD, et al
Laval University, Quebec City, Québec, Canada
The Annals of Family Medicine