Guideline sheets on the side effects of anticancer drugs are useful for general practitioners
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General practitioners (GPs) are more and more involved in the treatment of cancer patients but feel not informed enough about anticancer treatments and associated side effects. Better communication with treatment centers is needed. We hypothesized that information sheets could improve communication.
This prospective, multicentric, and interventionist study aimed at implementing and assessing therapeutic sheets describing the side effects of anticancer drugs used for digestive and gynecological cancers and their recommended management. GPs’ phone interviews were done through three successive phases and two independent cohorts. The first phase (T1; 242 GPs with one patient recently treated) listed their expectations, the second (T2; 158 GPs with one patient beginning treatment) assessed the GPs’ opinion regarding the sheets, and the third (T3; responder GPs 4 months after the start of T2) assessed their usefulness in practice.
In T1, 94 % of GPs declared their need of having information sheets, notably for the management of side effects. Thirty-one one-page sheets were created. In T2, 83.5 % gave a favorable opinion about sheets and 80 % envisaged their use in the case of side effect. In T3, 56 % of GPs whose patient had experienced a side effect had used successfully the sheets for its management, and 21 % of patients with side effect were hospitalized. A strong correlation existed between the use of the sheet by GPs and the hospitalization (OR 7.35 in the case of no use vs use).
The guideline sheets represent a simple and low-cost solution to help GPs managing drugs’ side effects and perhaps decrease the rate of unplanned hospitalizations.
KeywordsGeneral practice Digestive cancer Gynecological cancer Side effects Cancer treatment Guidelines sheets
We thank Atika Ksakass for her precious help in the shaping of guidelines sheets. We thank Nina Crowte who provided medical writing services on behalf of General Practice Department.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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