Shared Care Involving Cancer Specialists and Primary Care Providers - What Do Cancer Survivors Want?
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Background Cancer survivors are living longer, prompting greater focus on managing cancer as a chronic condition. Shared care between primary care providers (PCPs) and cancer specialists, involving explicit partnership in how care is communicated, could ensure effective transitions between services. However, little is known about cancer patients' and survivors' preferences regarding shared care. Objective To explore Australian cancer survivors' views on shared care: what cancer survivors need from shared care; enablers and barriers to advancing shared care; and what successful shared care looks like. Setting and Participants Community forum held in Adelaide, Australia, in 2015 with 21 participants: 11 cancer survivors, 2 family caregivers, and 8 clinicians and researchers (members of PC4-Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Clinical Trials Group). Intervention Qualitative data from group discussion of the objectives. Results Participants stressed that successful shared care required patients being at the centre, ensuring accurate communication, ownership, and access to their medical records. PCPs were perceived to lack skills and confidence to lead complex cancer care. Patients expressed burden in being responsible for navigating information sharing and communication processes between health professionals and services. Effective shared care should include: shared electronic health records, key individuals as care coordinators; case conferences; shared decision making; preparing patients for self-management; building general practitioners' skills; and measuring outcomes. Discussion and Conclusions There was clear support for shared care but a lack of good examples to help guide it for this population. Recognizing cancer as a chronic condition requires a shift in how care is provided to these patients.
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