School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brookes University, Jack Straws Lane, Marston, Oxford OX3 0FL.
Follow-up care for prostate cancer has traditionally been led by secondary care in hospital out-patient clinics. As the number of men with prostate cancer increases and secondary care resources face pressure, alternative follow-up models are being sought. Current National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance recommends follow-up outside the hospital setting for patients who are stable 2 years following radical treatment and for those undergoing 'watchful waiting'.
To describe current practice in a sample of relevant health care professionals and to seek their views on the role of primary care in prostate cancer follow-up.
Semi-structured telephone interviews with 38 UK health care professionals, from both secondary and primary care. Transcripts were analysed using the constant comparative method.
There are marked variations in current follow-up practice around the country, with hospital-based follow-up ranging from 6 months to lifetime. The predominant, although not universal, view expressed was that there is both scope and support for primary care to play a greater role, particularly for men with stable disease. This was qualified by the need for supporting education, including guidance on interpretation of prostate-specific antigen values, introduction of robust follow-up systems in primary care, easy access back into secondary (hospital) care, a mechanism for ensuring follow-up data can still be collected for audit purposes and appropriate resourcing.
If primary care is to play a significant role in providing high-quality follow-up care for men with prostate cancer, then steps need to be taken to address the barriers to increased primary care involvement identified by this study.
K Watson E, O'Brien R, Campbell C, Weller D, D Neal R, Wilkinson C, W Rose P. Are you the author?
Reference: Fam Pract. 2011 Jun 21. Epub ahead of print.