Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2020 Aug 1;48:101820. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2020.101820. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To examine the experiences of patients and healthcare professionals of prostate cancer follow-up in primary care and to identify areas where current policy and practice could be improved.
METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with patients, GPs and oncologists explored experiences of prostate cancer follow-up. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. The three participant groups were analysed as individual datasets but the same key themes were evident across the groups.
RESULTS: 14 patients, 6 GPs and 5 oncologists were interviewed. Four main themes were identified: Experience of current practice; Knowledge and understanding of prostate cancer follow up; Disparity of processes and pathways; Unclear roles and responsibilities.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study highlight the variation in the approach to prostate specific antigen monitoring and emphasise the lack of clear policies and practices. The lack of clarity around existing follow up and monitoring processes could cause delays in the diagnosis of recurrence. There is a need for a new and improved pathway for prostate cancer follow up. The pathway should include clear and concise guidance for patients, primary care and secondary care and all relevant parties need to understand what their role is within the pathway.