Increasing awareness of gynaecological cancer symptoms: a GP perspective

Evans, R.E.C., Morris, M., Sekhon, M., Buszewicz, M., Walter, F.M., Waller, J. & Simon, A.E. (2014). Increasing awareness of gynaecological cancer symptoms: a GP perspective. BRITISH JOURNAL OF GENERAL PRACTICE, 64(623), E372 - E380. doi: 10.3399/bjgp14X680161

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Abstract

Background
In the UK there has been an effort, through the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI), to increase early stage diagnoses and ultimately cancer survival. Encouraging early symptom presentation through awarenessraising activities in primary care is one method to achieve this goal. Understanding GPs’ views about this type of activity, however, is crucial prior to implementation.

Aim
To describe GPs’ attitudes to raising public awareness of gynaecological cancers, and their views about the potential impact on primary care services.

Design and setting
An online survey with a convenience sample recruited from 1860 UK general practices.

Method
An invitation was emailed to GPs via practice managers and included a weblink to a draft education leaflet and an online survey about the impact of sending a leaflet giving information about symptoms associated with gynaecological
cancers to all women on GPs’ lists.

Participants
could offer additional free text comments which were coded using content analysis.

Results
A total of 621 GPs participated. Most (77%, 477) felt that raising awareness of cancers was important. Only half (50%, 308), however, indicated that they would distribute such a leaflet from their practice. Barriers to implementation included concerns about financial costs; emotional impact on patients; increased demand for appointments and diagnostic services, such as ultrasound.

Conclusions
GPs were generally positive about an intervention to improve patients’ awareness of gynaecological cancers, but had concerns about increasing rates of presentation. There is a need for research quantifying the benefits of earlier diagnosis against resource costs such as increased consultations, investigations, and referrals.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Please cite as: Evans REC, Morris, M, Sekhon, M, et al. Increasing awareness of gynaecological cancer symptoms: a GP perspective. Br J Gen Pract 2014; DOI: 10.3399/bjgp14X680161<http://dx.doi.org/10.3399%2Fbjgp14X680161>.
Uncontrolled Keywords: early detection of cancer; general practice; patient education, primary health care.
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Research Unit
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/7427

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