Wensen en behoeften van patiënten ten aanzien van routine follow-up na behandeling voor colorectaal carcinoom
Needs and preferences regarding routine follow-up of patients treated for colorectal cancer
The aim of this study is to investigate needs and preferences regarding routine follow-up of patients treated for colorectal cancer (CRC) with curative intent and to explore the effect of length of follow-up after treatment on these needs and preferences. 127 disease-free patients treated for CRC were sent a standardized questionnaire. 118 completed questionnaires could be analyzed. Participants had high expectations about follow-up care concerning detection of recurrences and metastases and with that the life expectancy. Most of them judged the communication to be positive, were reassured by the follow-up and did not anticipate the visits with nervous distress. The investigations were not seen as burdensome, but a majority of the patients disliked being reminded of the disease. Nearly half of all respondents prefer lifelong follow-up and nearly all patients would be distressed when follow-up would stop after several years. Most patients were satisfied with the investigation intervals. They wanted information or preferred talking about several subjects like heredity, prognosis and stools. A quarter of all participants would appreciate psychological support. Length of follow-up was only related to fear of recurrence, preference of the frequency of follow-up visits, additional investigations and preference of follow-up provider.
Patients treated for CRC reported a strong preference for long-term follow-up, which could provide reassurance, information and psychological support. There are high expectations about follow-up care, while earlier research show that follow-up does not influence overall survival. The advantages of invasive investigations outweigh the disadvantages.
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