Patients’ acceptance of a shared cancer follow-up model of care between general practitioners and radiation oncologists: A population-based survey using the theoretical Framework of Acceptability
BMC Primary Care
Introduction: International and national guidelines highlight the need for general practitioner involvement during and after active cancer treatment and throughout long-term follow-up care. This paper aimed to evaluate patients’ acceptance of radiation oncology shared follow-up care using the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability (TFA). Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at two cancer care centres in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region of Australia. A sample of patients scheduled for a radiation oncology follow-up consultation in 2021 were sent a 32-point self-complete paper-based survey. Data were analysed using descriptive, parametric and non-parametric statistical analysis. This paper followed the Checklist for Reporting of Survey Studies (CROSS). Results: Of the 414 surveys returned (45% response rate), the acceptance for radiation oncology shared cancer follow-up care was high (80%). Patients treated with only radiotherapy were 1.7 times more likely to accept shared follow-up care than those treated with multiple modalities. Patients who preferred follow-up care for fewer than three years were 7.5 times more likely to accept shared care than those who preferred follow-up care for five years. Patients who travelled more than 20 minutes to their radiation oncologist or to the rural cancer centre were slightly more likely to accept shared care than those who travelled less than twenty minutes to the regional cancer centre. A high understanding of shared care (Intervention Coherence) and a positive feeling towards shared care (Affective Attitude) were significant predictive factors in accepting shared radiation oncology follow-up care. Conclusion: Health services need to ensure patient preferences are considered to provide patient-centred cancer follow-up care. Shared cancer follow-up care implementation should start with patients who prefer a shorter follow-up period and understand the benefits of shared care. However, patients’ involvement needs to be considered alongside other clinical risk profiles and organisational factors. Future qualitative research using the TFA constructs is warranted to inform clinical practice change.
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Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District