Primary Care Physicians’ Perspectives in Leading Breast Cancer Follow-Up Care

Fernando A. Angarita, Nicole Jedrzejko, David Eisen, Maria Muraca, Marla Ash, Fahima Osman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Limited data exist on the barriers associated with transitioning breast cancer follow-up care to primary care physicians (PCPs). This study aimed to describe the current perspectives of PCPs in managing breast cancer follow-up. Method: An online survey was distributed to PCPs in Toronto, ON, Canada. Questions examined PCPs’ view of transitioning breast cancer follow-up care to their practices. Results: Of 800 PCPs invited, 126 responded (response rate: 15.7%). The types of practice models amongst respondents included blended capitation (42.9%), blended salary (27%), and fee-for-service (17.5%). Seventy-seven percent of respondents stated they provided follow-up care. Approximately half of the respondents stated they were somewhat comfortable providing follow-up care. PCP-led follow-up care was considered either very (49.2%) or somewhat appropriate (30.2%). When asked about financial remuneration, 43.7% of respondents stated it was somewhat important. The factors that influenced the feasibility of PCP-led follow-up care included receipt of a detailed follow-up care plan provided by the specialist after discharge (81%), the ability to re-refer to specialists rapidly (56.3%), and the ability to obtain regular updates of best practice changes (59.5%). The preferred means of educational updates included E-mail (40.5%), continuing medical education events (30.2%), and electronic medical records (19.8%). When the fee model was taken into consideration there was no significant difference in opinions regarding follow-up care. Conclusions: Transitioning to a PCP-led model was supported by most of the PCPs who participated in this study. Their perspective on PCP-led follow up care and barriers associated with implementation of this model of care needs to be further explored with future studies that include larger sample size and a more diverse PCP population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e497-e505
JournalClinical Breast Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast cancer follow-up
  • Surveillance
  • Survivorship
  • Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Canada
  • Aftercare
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Physicians, Primary Care
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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