Inadequate communication between oncologists and general practitioners
The GP is central in cancer diagnostics, but is not sufficiently involved while the patient is being treated. Improved communication and agreements between GPs and oncologists are crucial to ensure better treatment of cancer patients.
Studies have shown that the cooperation between GPs and hospital staff oncologists seem to be characterized by lack of communication routines, severe lines of communication and lack of understanding of each other’s core service and working conditions.
Research results from Denmark have shown that Danish GP’s interest in oncology often is limited, and this article discusses whether the limited interest for oncology among GPs can be ascribed to the poor quality of communication and cooperation between GPs and oncologists.
The article suggests that the development of clinical guidelines, the establishment of personal relationships, knowledge sharing and agreements on the division of responsibility would improve the GP’s experience of autonomy and level of competence in relation to cancer treatment, and reduce the GP’s experience of alienation. This would probably increase the interest in oncology among the GPs.
Psychologist and Associate Professor Anette Fischer Pedersen
Aarhus University, Department of Public Health
Research Centre for Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care and The Research Unit for General Practice