With the increasing attention for the role of General Practitioners (GPs) after cancer treatment, it is important to better understand the involvement of GPs following prostate cancer treatment. This study investigates factors associated with GP contact during follow-up of prostate cancer survivors, such as patient, treatment and symptom variables, and satisfaction with, trust in, and appraised knowledge of GPs.
Of 787 prostate cancer survivors diagnosed between 2007 and 2013, and selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry, 557 (71%) responded to the invitation to complete a questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate which variables were associated with GP contact during follow- up.
In total, 200 (42%) prostate cancer survivors had contact with their GP during follow-up, and 76 (16%) survivors preferred more contact. Survivors who had an intermediate versus low educational level (OR = 2.0) were more likely to have had contact with their GP during follow-up. Survivors treated with surgery (OR = 2.8) or hormonal therapy (OR = 3.5) were also more likely to seek follow-up care from their GP compared to survivors who were treated with active surveillance. Patient reported bowel symptoms (OR = 1.4), hormonal symptoms (OR = 1.4), use of incontinence aids (OR = 1.6), and being satisfied with their GP (OR = 9.5) were also significantly associated with GP contact during follow-up.
Education, treatment, symptoms and patient satisfaction were associated with GP contact during prostate cancer follow-up. These findings highlight the potential for adverse side-effects to be managed in primary care. In light of future changes in cancer care, evaluating prostate cancer follow-up in primary care remains important.
- Prostate cancer survivors
- General practitioner
- Primary healthcare contact