How do colorectal cancer patients rate their GP: a mixed methods study

New Zealand (NZ) has a high incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) and low rates of early diagnosis. With no nationwide screening currently implemented, the majority of CRC is diagnosed in a primary care setting. Delayed diagnosis of CRC in NZ receives a disproportionally high number of complaints directed against GPs, suggesting deficits in the patient-GP connection. This study investigated patient-reported confidence and ratings of their GP following diagnosis. Newly diagnosed CRC patients were given a questionnaire around their experience with the GP. Most participants rated their GP as ‘Very good/Good’ at communication about their health conditions and involving them in decisions about their care. 6.7% of participants rated their overall level of confidence and trust in their GP as ‘Not at all’. Māori, female, and younger participants were overall more likely to report low confidence and trust in their GP. Participants associate a poor diagnostic experience with deficits in the interpersonal and technical skills of their GP. Short appointment times, access to appointments and poor GP continuity are also important components of how patients assess their experience and are particularly important to ensure equal access for Māori patients. Increased funding into primary care and GP awareness of patient concerns must be implemented to improve patient experience.

Read full text

Scroll to Top