Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

Interprofessional follow-up of patients with cancer in France (the SINPATIC study): a preliminary, qualitative study of the patient's perspective.

Mirat W, Moscova L, Lustman M, Dawidowicz S, Picot G, Lebel A, Cittée J, Ferrat E Fam Pract. 2024.

BACKGROUND: In 2020, 19.2 million people were diagnosed with cancer, and nearly 10 million cancer patients died worldwide. An effective cancer care pathway must be based on coordination, multidisciplinarity, a personalized approach, and collaboration between stakeholders. Follow-up can be improved by good collaboration and communication between GPs and the cancer care team at a common level of organization.

OBJECTIVES: To study patients with solid cancers and assess their perceptions of the care pathway, the roles of the healthcare professionals involved, and interprofessional collaboration.

METHODS: In a preliminary, qualitative study (part of the SINPATIC study of general practitioners, oncologists, nurses, and patients), adult patients with cancer in the Paris area of France were interviewed between January and April 2018. Using purposive sampling, 10 patients were recruited from hospital departments and primary care. An interview guide explored 3 themes: the care pathway, the stakeholders' roles in follow-up, and interprofessional collaboration.

RESULTS: For patients, dealing with cancer is a complex process of awareness, care provision, decision-making, task assignment, a lack of clarification of professional roles, a piecemeal announcement of the diagnosis of cancer by several stakeholders, organizational and administrative difficulties, non-formal collaboration in inertia (tending towards collaboration under construction), and with cancer follow-up that was usually parallel, sometimes shared, rarely sequential.

CONCLUSION: This SINPATIC substudy provided us a better understanding of the complexity of the patient care pathway. Looking forward, the present findings might stimulate thoughts on the design and development of interventional studies.

DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmae023