A “time out consultation” in primary care for elderly patients with cancer: Better treatment decisions by structural involvement of the general practitioner

This commentary in the European Journal of Cancer Care by Niek de Wit outlines a new intervention to help optimise care for elderly patients with cancer. Many patients often do not understand that their treatment is unlikely to be curative. Inadequate information for patients may hinder their ability to make treatment decisions that are aligned with their personal preferences. The complexity of treatment decisions can be more complex in elderly patients due to the likelihood of multimorbidity. Consequently, shared decision-making that utilises a patients’ GP may help support patients and help improve informed decision making about cancer treatments. The long-standing relationship between GP and patient is key to the success of shared decision-making with their greater understanding of the patients medical and psychosocial history. The potential effect of using a “time out consultation”, where the GP and patient have a consultation after the cancer diagnosis, is currently being evaluated in a large multidisciplinary trial in the Netherlands. If successful, this trial will support the increased integration of primary care into treatment decision making for elderly patients with cancer.

 

Read the full commentary here.