Due to an increasing number of cancer patients, new follow-up models are being debated, among them follow-up by general practitioners. Before changing surveillance, patients' views are important to explore. The purpose of this study was to compare attitudes toward follow-up care among patients treated for gynecological cancer who had not yet started a follow-up regimen to those who had been attending a hospital-based follow-up regimen for >1 year.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey among gynecological cancer patients recruited from three Norwegian hospitals in 2013-2015: Sørlandet Hospital Kristiansand, Sørlandet Hospital Arendal, and St. Olavs hospital, Trondheim.
239 patients agreed to participate, 100 who had not yet started follow-up and 139 who had been attending >1 year of follow-up. Patients reported that they preferred to be followed up by a gynecologist rather than by their GP, whom they viewed as less competent for this purpose. However, patients who had not yet started follow-up were more willing to be followed up by a GP. Overall, patients rated detection of recurrence as the most important aspect of follow-up visits.
The gynecological cancer patients in our study preferred a hospital-based follow-up model. However, patients who had not yet started follow-up were more willing to be followed up by a GP. If follow-up is to be provided by GPs for selected patients, it is important that these patients are informed early of the value and limitations of follow-up visits, to ensure that they feel safe. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.