Concordance between General Practitioners and Radiation Oncologists for Cancer Follow-Up Care
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
(1) Background: Patients treated with radiotherapy require follow-up care to detect and treat acute and late side effects, and to monitor for recurrence. The increasing demand for follow-up care poses a challenge for specialists and general practitioners. There is a perception that general practitioners do not have the specialised knowledge of treatment side effects and how to manage these. Knowing the concordance between general practitioner and oncologist clinical assessments can improve confidence in healthcare professionals. This study aimed to measure the level of agreement between general practitioners and radiation oncologists using a standardised clinical assessment; (2) Methods: a cross-sectional clinical practice study; sample aim of 20 breast, prostate or colorectal patients, three years post-radiotherapy treatment; their general practitioner and radiation oncologist; (3) Results: There was acceptable percent agreement (>75%) and a moderate to almost perfect agreement (Fleiss kappa) for all variables between the 15 general practitioner-radiation oncologist dyads; (4) Conclusions: The general practitioner and radiation oncologist concordance of a clinical follow-up assessment for radiation oncology patients is an important finding. These results can reassure both general practitioners and oncologists that general practitioners can provide cancer follow-up care. However, further studies are warranted to confirm the findings and improve reassurance for health professionals.
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Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District