Primary care physician’s confidence and coordination regarding the survivorship care for older breast cancer survivors

Since the 1970s, breast cancer survival has continually improved, with 90% living a further 5 or more years. This US study aimed to explore primary care physician’s (PCPs) confidence regarding their provision of survivorship care to older breast cancer survivors. The study administered a questionnaire with 29 PCPs regarding training and areas of survivorship under their care. A subset of participants were interviewed about survivorship care, care coordination and areas of improvement for survivorship care plans (SCPs). The results found that 45% were “somewhat confident” or “not confident” in evaluating and managing late effects of cancer treatment, and 25% were “somewhat confident” or “not confident” in addressing chronic comorbidities of older breast cancer survivors. More so, over half of PCPs said that they reach out to their patients’ oncologists “a little” or “none of the time” and that they receive SCPs “a little” or “none of the time”, indicating poor communication between the two providers. This indicates a need for a well-defined shared care model to support GPs as patients’ main point of contact in order to improve survivorship care. 

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