General practitioner assessment of structured oncological information accompanying newly referred cancer patients

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2003 Jun;21(2):110-4. doi: 10.1080/02813430310001725.


Objective: To investigate general practitioner (GP) assessment of a structured oncology information pack sent to GPs when newly referred patients had visited a department of oncology for the first time, and to compare their assessment of this material with their assessment of traditional information provided by the department.

Design: Randomised, unblinded clinical trial.

Setting: Patients and GPs in the catchment area of a regional oncology department.

Subjects/patients: 248 cancer patients and their 199 GPs.

Main outcome measures: GP assessment of the quality of the information material received for each patient.

Results: 88.3% of the 248 questionnaires were returned. The structured information pack improved GP knowledge of oncology; GPs found themselves better equipped to support and counsel patients during the course of their illness, and practitioner satisfaction with the department rose.

Conclusion: Intervention, though reasonably simple, inexpensive and not particularly time-consuming, improved cooperation between the specialist department and the GP. While this is a small step in the right direction, the need remains for new initiatives and further studies into how to improve cooperation and communication between the primary and secondary healthcare sectors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires