Improving continuity by bringing the cancer patient, general practitioner and oncologist together in a shared video-based consultation – protocol for a randomised controlled trial

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Trabjerg, Theis B
Jensen, Lars H
Søndergaard, Jens
Sisler, Jeffrey J
Hansen, Dorte G
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Abstract Background Strengthening the coordination, continuity and intersectoral cooperation for cancer patients’ during cancer treatment is being underlined by international guidelines and research. General practitioners have assumed a growing role in the cancer patient disease trajectory because of their roles as coordinators and the consistent health provider. However, general practitioners are challenged in providing support for cancer patients both during treatment and in the survivorship phase. General practitioners reported barriers are lack of timely and relevant communication from the oncologist and limited knowledge to guidelines, as well as lack of trust from patients. Therefore, the current study will examine whether a shared video-based consultation between the cancer patient, general practitioner and oncologist can ease general’ challenges and thereby enhance the patient-centeredness for the cancer patients and their perception of intersectoral cooperation and continuity. Methods The study is designed as a pragmatic randomised controlled trial for patients starting chemotherapy at the Department of Oncology, Lillebaelt Hospital, Denmark who are listed with a general practitioner in the Region of Southern Denmark. We intend to include 278 adults diagnosed with colorectal, breast, lung, gynecologic or prostate cancer. The intervention group will receive the “Partnership intervention” which consists of one or more video-consultations between the cancer patient, general practitioner and oncologist. The consultations are estimated to last between 10 and 20 min. The specific aims of the consultation are, summary of the patient trajectory, sharing of knowledge regarding comorbidity, psychosocial resources and needs, physical well-being, medicine, anxiety and depression symptoms, spouses, workability and late complication and side-effects to the cancer treatment. Discussion Video-based consultation that brings the cancer patient, the general practitioner and the oncologist together in the early phase of treatment may facilitate a sense of partnership that is powerful enough to improve the patient’s perception of intersectoral cooperation, continuity of cancer care and health-related quality of life. Trial registration Identifier: NCT02716168 . Date of registration: 03.03.2016.
BMC Family Practice. 2019 Jun 25;20(1):86