Background: As colon cancer is increasingly becoming a chronic illness with a broad range of symptoms, there is a need for individually tailored care for these patients.
Objective: To investigate patients' opinions about GP involvement in survivorship care and the use of eHealth applications, such as Oncokompas2.0, to support self-management. Oncokompas2.0 is an interactive website that monitors quality of life via participant-reported outcomes and provides feedback and personalized supportive care.
Methods: We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with patients diagnosed with stages I-III colon cancer treated with curative intent. Twenty participants (nine men, age range 49-86 years) were recruited in five Dutch hospitals by purposive sampling. Thematic data analysis was done by two coders.
Results: Possible benefits of greater GP involvement include better accessibility of care and additional guidance. Participants considered an increased workload for the already busy GP as a disadvantage. Requirements for greater GP involvement were assurance of sufficient knowledge and expertise of the GP and easy access to secondary care. Most participants expected that Oncokompas2.0 would increase awareness of symptoms and concerns and provide more insight into support possibilities. Reservations mentioned were the expected loss of personal contact with health professionals and the feasibility of implementation in the total patient population.
Conclusion: Colon cancer patients see some benefit of greater GP involvement and the use of Oncokompas2.0 to improve survivorship care. Our study results support initiatives to further explore GP-led survivorship care and the implementation of eHealth.
Keywords: Aftercare; colonic neoplasms; health services needs and demand; primary health care; qualitative research; telemedicine.
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