A doctor close at hand: How GPs view their role in cancer care

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2010 Dec;28(4):249-55. doi: 10.3109/02813432.2010.526792. Epub 2010 Oct 15.


Objective: To explore GPs' own views on their role in cancer care.

Design: Qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews.

Setting: Norwegian primary care.

Methods: The stories of 14 GPs concerning 18 patients were analyzed for core content and abstracted into general ideas, to create a broader sense of the experienced professional role.

Results: The GPs claimed to have an important role in cancer care. In our analysis, three main aspects of GPs' work emerged: first, as a flexible mediator, e.g. between the patient and the clinic, interpreting and translating; second, as an efficient "handyman", solving practical problems locally; and third, as a personal companion for the patient throughout the illness.

Conclusion: The interviewed GPs see their place in cancer care as being close to their patients. In their many tasks we found three main aspects: the mediating, the practical, and the personal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / psychology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Norway
  • Palliative Care
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physician's Role*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care