Cross-sectoral video consultations in cancer care: perspectives of cancer patients, oncologists and general practitioners

Support Care Cancer. 2021 Jan;29(1):107-116. doi: 10.1007/s00520-020-05467-0. Epub 2020 Apr 21.


Purpose: Multidisciplinary video consultations are one method of improving coherence and coordination of care in cancer patients, but knowledge of user perspectives is lacking. Continuity of care is expected to have a significant impact on the quality of cancer care. Enhanced task clarification and shared responsibility between the patient, oncologist and general practitioner through video consultations might provide enhanced continuity in cancer care.

Method: We used descriptive survey data from patients and doctors in the intervention group based on a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the user perspectives and fidelity of the intervention.

Results: Patients expressed that they were able to present their concerns in 95% of the consultations, and believed it was beneficial to have both their doctors present in 84%. The general practitioner and oncologist found that tripartite video consultation would lead to better coordination of care in almost 90% of the consultations. However, the benefits of handling social issues and comorbidity were sparser. Consultations were not accomplished in 11% due to technical problems and sound and video quality were non-satisfactory in 20%.

Conclusion: Overall, multidisciplinary video consultations between cancer patient, general practitioner and oncologist were feasible in daily clinics. Initial barriers to address were technical issues and seamless planning. Patients reported high satisfaction, patient centredness and clarity of roles. General practitioners and oncologists were overall positive regarding role clarification and continuity, although less pronounced than patients.

Trial registration: , NCT02716168.

Keywords: Cancer; General practice; Technical fidelity; User perspectives; Video consultation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • General Practitioners*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Oncologists*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Telemedicine / methods

Associated data