Routine follow-up after treatment for ovarian cancer in the United Kingdom (UK): patient and health professional views.
AffiliationMacmillan Research Unit, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK. Anne.Lydon@manchester.ac.uk
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AbstractPURPOSE: The aim of this study was to explore patients and health professional's perceptions of follow-up service provision following treatment for ovarian cancer. In the United Kingdom, where this study took place, ovarian cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer in women. The causes are unknown, symptoms are often vague and most cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage. There is a high likelihood of disease progression and little evidence on the benefits of routine follow-up after treatment for gynaecological cancer. METHOD: Two focus groups were conducted with patients (n=6) and health professionals (n=7) at a hospital in North-West England. RESULTS: From the patient group, three main themes emerged: reassurance, the need for support and information, and alternative approaches to follow-up care. Three main themes emerged from the health professional group: patient attendance at outpatient clinics to monitor for disease progression; the need to modernise the current system; and patients should be encouraged to self-manage their disease. CONCLUSIONS: There were similarities and differences in perceptions of follow-up care procedures between the two focus groups. Patients placed importance on clinical examination in indicating disease recurrence, whereas health professionals viewed this as historical practice with no evidence base. Accurate information on how disease progression is monitored should be communicated to patients. A modified approach to follow-up procedures is suggested as a useful strategy to tailor services to individual needs and preferences, whilst responding to service demands.
CitationRoutine follow-up after treatment for ovarian cancer in the United Kingdom (UK): patient and health professional views. 2009, 13 (5):336-43 Eur J Oncol Nurs
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
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