Information and support for older women with breast cancer

Blows, Emma, de Blas Lop, Jaime, Scanlon, Karen, Richardson, Alison and Ream, Emma (2011) Information and support for older women with breast cancer Cancer Nursing Practice, 10, (3), pp. 31-37.


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The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) provides an incentive for practices to establish a cancer register and conduct a review with cancer patients within 6 months of diagnosis, but implementation is unknown.


To describe: (1) implementation of the QOF cancer care review; (2) patients' experiences of primary care over the first 3 years following a cancer diagnosis; (3) patients' views on optimal care; and (4) the views of primary care professionals regarding their cancer care.

Design of study

Qualitative study using thematic analysis and a framework approach.


Six general practices in the Thames Valley area.


Semi-structured interviews with cancer patients and focus groups with primary care teams.


Thirty-eight adults with 12 different cancer types were interviewed. Seventy-one primary care team members took part in focus groups. Most cancer care reviews are conducted opportunistically. Thirty-five patients had had a review; only two could recall this. Patients saw acknowledgement of their diagnosis and provision of general support as important and not always adequately provided. An active approach and specific review appointment would legitimise the raising of concerns. Primary care teams considered cancer care to be part of their role. GPs emphasised the importance of being able to respond to individual patients' needs and closer links with secondary care to facilitate a more involved role.


Patients and primary care teams believe primary care has an important role to play in cancer care. Cancer care reviews in their current format are not helpful, with considerable scope for improving practice in this area. An invitation to attend a specific appointment at the end of active treatment may aid transition from secondary care and improve satisfaction with follow-up in primary care.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1475-4266 (print)
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ePrint ID: 183133
Date :
Date Event
April 2011Published
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2011 16:12
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 02:23
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