Introducing a time out consultation with the general practitioner between diagnosis and start of colorectal cancer treatment: Patient-reported outcomes

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2019 Nov;28(6):e13141. doi: 10.1111/ecc.13141. Epub 2019 Aug 30.


Objective: To evaluate the introduction of a "time out consultation" with the general practitioner (GP) recommended to patients following the diagnosis of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) before start of treatment.

Methods: A prospective study using questionnaires to compare the number of GP consultations, with their content and outcomes before and after the introduction of an additional consultation with the GP to improve decision-making and adequate support.

Results: 72 patients before and 98 patients after the introduction of the "time out consultation" participated. Introduction of the consultation increased the number of patients to contact their GP from 67% to 80%, but did not change kind or content of the consultations. Patients felt the consultation was comforting and were more satisfied with the GP after the introduction. There was no difference in outcomes measured by the questionnaires in all patients combined, but men, older patients and patients with palliative treatment options only did improve on specific outcomes after the introduction.

Conclusion: The introduction of the "time out consultation" did not change the kind or content of GP consultations before start of CRC treatment, but patients did feel more comforted and satisfied. Subgroups of patients benefited on specific outcomes.

Keywords: colorectal cancer; general practitioner; patient perspective; primary care involvement; time out consultation; treatment decision.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • General Practice / methods*
  • General Practitioners*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time-to-Treatment