Sharing Cancer Survivorship Care between Oncology and Primary Care Providers: Health Care Professionals’ Experiences
Survivorship care that is shared between oncology and primary care providers may confer benefits to patients and also health systems for the growing cancer survivor population. Despite this, recommendations supporting implementation of shared care are lacking. This study looked at health care professionals’ (HCPs) perceived facilitators and barriers to the implementation, delivery and sustainability of shared survivorship care. Results identified four overarching themes: (1) considerations for HCPs including general practitioner knowledge and need for further training, having clear follow-up protocols, and direct communication channels between providers. (2) considerations regarding patients such as identifying suitable patients for shared care, early discussions around shared care, and patients’ relationships with their GPs. (3) considerations for planning and process including rapid referral pathways back to hospital, care coordination, and ongoing data collection to inform refinement of a dynamic model. (4) policy implications which encompasses the development of policy to support a consistent shared care model, and reliable and sustainable funding mechanisms. This study makes a number of recommendations that may support broader implementation of shared care for cancer survivors through the development of policy and sustainable funding mechanisms.