Context: While prior research has examined how primary care providers (PCPs) can care for breast and colon cancer survivors, little is known about their role in thyroid cancer survivorship.
Objective: To understand PCP involvement and confidence in thyroid cancer survivorship care.
Design/setting/participants: We surveyed PCPs identified by thyroid cancer patients from the Georgia and LA SEER registries (n = 162, response rate 56%). PCPs reported their involvement in long-term surveillance and confidence in handling survivorship care (role of random thyroglobulin levels and neck ultrasound, and when to end long-term surveillance and refer back to the specialist). We examined: 1) PCP-reported factors associated with involvement using multivariable analyses; and 2) bivariate associations between involvement and confidence in handling survivorship care.
Main outcome measures: PCP involvement (involved vs not involved) and confidence (high vs low).
Results: Many PCPs (76%) reported being involved in long-term surveillance. Involvement was greater among PCPs who noted clinical guidelines as the most influential source in guiding treatment (OR 4.29; 95% CI, 1.56-11.82). PCPs reporting high confidence in handling survivorship varied by aspects of care: refer patient to specialist (39%), role of neck ultrasound (36%) and random thyroglobulin levels (27%), and end long-term surveillance (14%). PCPs reporting involvement were more likely to report high confidence in discussing the role of random thyroglobulin levels (33.3% vs 7.9% not involved; P < 0.01).
Conclusions: While PCPs reported being involved in long-term surveillance, gaps remain in their confidence in handling survivorship care. Thyroid cancer survivorship guidelines that delineate PCP roles present one opportunity to increase confidence about their participation.
Keywords: primary health care; survivorship; thyroid neoplasms.
© Endocrine Society 2020. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.