Objective: To describe the role of the General Practitioner (GP) in the care of one specified cancer patient per GP, and to explore the GP's knowledge about that patient's disease and treatments, and what information she/he wanted versus received from the specialist clinic. A further aim was to evaluate the effects of an Extended Information Routine (EIR), including increased information from the specialist clinic to the GP.
Design: Semi-structured interviews with GPs about a patient randomised between an extended information routine and standard information from the specialist clinics.
Settings: Primary Health Care.
Subjects: 20 GPs, 10 who received extended information about the specified patient and 10 who did not.
Main outcome measures: The extent of GPs' contact with the patient, GPs' potential or actual possibilities to support the patient, desired and received information from the specialist clinic.
Results and conclusions: GPs are commonly involved in the care of cancer patients, particularly in the diagnostics of the disease but also during the periods of treatment and follow-up. The information from the specialist clinic to the GP is insufficient in standard care. The extended information routine increased the GPs' knowledge of the disease and treatments, and facilitated their possibilities to determine patients' need for support.