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Most Women Feel PCPs Are Involved in Breast Cancer Care

Overall, 66.2 and 69.1 percent of women perceive high PCP engagement and communication

doctor with a patient

MONDAY, Oct. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most women newly diagnosed with breast cancer perceive high primary care provider (PCP) quality, and report that their PCPs have high engagement and communication, according to research published online Oct. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Lauren P. Wallner, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues surveyed 2,279 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer approximately six months after diagnosis. The authors assessed the distributions of patient-perceived PCP quality and three measures of patient-reported PCP involvement: engagement, communication, and participation in treatment decisions.

The researchers found that 63.6 percent of women in the sample perceived high PCP quality, and 66.2 and 69.1 percent perceived high PCP engagement and communication, respectively. A total of 35.4 percent of women felt that their PCP participated in treatment decisions. Compared with low PCP engagement, higher PCP engagement correlated with higher decision satisfaction (adjusted P = 0.003).

"Patient perceptions of PCP quality and PCP involvement in breast cancer care during treatment are high for most women, and PCPs often participate in breast cancer treatment decisions. However, PCP involvement did not lead to meaningful improvements in patients' appraisals of their decision making," the authors write. "Efforts to better incorporate and communicate with PCPs and educate them about the specifics of cancer treatments are warranted to promote collaborative cancer care."

One author disclosed financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline.

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