A mixed-methods examination of communication between oncologists and primary care providers among primary care physicians in underserved communities Journal Article


Authors: Shen, M. J.; Binz-Scharf, M.; D'agostino, T.; Blakeney, N.; Weiss, E.; Michaels, M.; Patel, S.; McKee, M. D.; Bylund, C. L.
Article Title: A mixed-methods examination of communication between oncologists and primary care providers among primary care physicians in underserved communities
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Research has demonstrated that communication and care coordination improve cancer patient outcomes. To improve communication and care coordination, it is important to understand primary care providers' (PCPs') perceptions of communication with oncologists as well as PCPs' communication needs. METHODS: A mixed-methods approach was used in the present study. In the qualitative phase of the study, 18 PCPs practicing in underserved, minority communities were interviewed about their experiences communicating with oncologists. In the quantitative phase of the study, 128 PCPs completed an online survey about their preferences, experiences, and satisfaction with communication with oncologists. RESULTS: Results indicated a PCP-oncologist gap in communication occurred between diagnosis and treatment. PCPs wanted more communication with oncologists, updates on their patients' prognosis throughout treatment, and to be contacted via telephone or email and saw their role as crucial in providing supportive care for their patients. CONCLUSIONS: Although PCPs recognize that they play a critical, proactive role in supporting patients throughout the continuum of their cancer care experience, existing norms regarding postreferral engagement and oncologist-PCP communication often hinder activation of this role among PCPs. Expected standards regarding the method, frequency, and quality of postreferral communication should be jointly articulated and made accountable between PCPs and oncologists to help improve cancer patients' quality of care, particularly in minority communities. © 2014 American Cancer Society.
Keywords: adult; health survey; experience; communication; health care personnel; medical practice; satisfaction; community; interview; interpersonal communication; general practitioner; qualitative research; telephone; perception; quantitative study; e-mail; oncologist; health disparities; pcp; cancer; prognosis; human; male; female; priority journal; article; primary care provider
Journal Title: Cancer
Volume: 121
Issue: 6
ISSN: 0008-543X
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell  
Date Published: 2015-03-15
Start Page: 908
End Page: 915
Language: English
DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29131
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC4352109
PUBMED: 25377382
DOI/URL:
Notes: Export Date: 2 April 2015 -- Source: Scopus
Altmetric
Citation Impact
MSK Authors
  1. Megan Johnson Shen
    24 Shen