24.10.2019 | Ausgabe 1/2020
Clinical placement program in cancer survivorship for primary care providers 2017–2019
Journal of Cancer Survivorship
- Amanda Piper, Leisa Leon, Helana Kelly, Ashlee Bailey, Georgina Wiley, Karolina Lisy, Liz Simkiss, Michael Jefford
The growing population of cancer survivors indicates an increasing role for primary care practitioners (PCPs). Building on two pilot initiatives, we sought to demonstrate feasibility of a state-wide program of short observational placements for PCPs and identify changes in knowledge and confidence to deliver survivorship care.
Placements were offered at hospitals with oncology departments across Victoria, Australia. Participants attended a multidisciplinary team meeting and a minimum of two outpatient clinics. Participation targets included at least 70 general practitioners (GPs), 15 practice nurses (PNs) and 15 allied health professionals (AHPs). Mixed methods evaluation included pre- and post-placement surveys.
The program was successfully delivered across eight sites; 148 PCPs enrolled, 58 PCPs withdrew and ultimately 90 PCPs (53 GPs, 15 PNs and 22 AHPs) completed a total of 224 placements. Ninety-two percent (81/89) of participants reported increased knowledge and confidence regarding survivorship care, 87% (78/89) agreed they had opportunities to enhance clinical relationships with specialist teams and 93% (83/89) agreed the program was relevant to their practice.
Building on previous pilots, this third iteration demonstrated the program is sustainable across multiple health services and geographical locations. PCPs reported increased knowledge and confidence regarding survivorship care and that the program provided opportunities to strengthen relationships between primary care and cancer specialists.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
A placement program within tertiary cancer centres offers a feasible, transferable model to build PCP knowledge and confidence to deliver appropriate and quality survivorship care.