Continuity of Cancer Care and Collaboration Between Family Physicians and Oncologists: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial

Collaboration between family physicians (FPs) and oncologists can be challenging, and as a result patients with cancer often experience fragmented health care. This paper presents the results of a randomized clinical trial of an intervention designed to improve continuity of care and interprofessional collaboration, as perceived by patients with lung cancer and their FPs. The intervention included providing FPs with standardised summaries related to each patient, recommending that patients see their FP after receiving the cancer diagnosis, supplying the oncology team with patient information from FP visits, and providing patients with priority access to FPs. Both patients and FPs in the intervention group perceived better collaboration between FPs and oncologists than those in the control group. Patients in the intervention group reported better informational and management continuity compared to controls, although this was not observed for FPs. This may be due to the scarce contacts between FPs and the oncology team. As such, strategies must be considered that continue to focus on sustainably improving overall continuity of care. Read full text
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