Patients' views of routine hospital follow-up: a qualitative study of women with breast cancer in remission

Psychooncology. 1998 Sep-Oct;7(5):436-9. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1611(1998090)7:5<436::AID-PON319>3.0.CO;2-C.


Objective: To investigate the experience of specialist hospital follow-up among 109 women with breast cancer in remission.

Methods: Qualitative interviews explored views of follow-up at an outpatient clinic.

Results: Continuity of care and an unrushed consultation were considered to be both desirable and efficient. There were concerns that discontinuity led to a lack of personal and case familiarity and communication difficulties. Access to cancer expertise, the availability of diagnostic tests and specialist facilities were valued features of hospital follow-up, and further analysis indicated that this was particularly important in the early stages of follow-up.

Discussion: A preference for continuity of care may suggest that GP follow-up would be preferred, but access to specialist services is valued and may be of particular importance during the early stages of follow-up. The diversity of patients' needs during follow-up must be recognised when formulating policy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Medicine
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Specialization