IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 40 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.12892/ejgo4680.2019
Open Access Original Research
Patients’ and physicians’ expectations differ significantly during the follow-up period after completion of primary treatment of gynecological or breast cancer
Show Less
1 Department for Gynecologic and Breast Oncology, Division of Gynecology and Perinatology, University Medical Centre Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2019, 40(5), 781–786;
Published: 10 October 2019

Introduction: With increasing incidence, earlier detection, and better treatment of malignant diseases, the number of people with cancer is increasing. After the completion of primary treatment, patients enter the follow-up period. While numerous studies have been published regarding the influence of follow-up on survival, there is a lack of data regarding comparison of patients’ and physicians’ expectations. The aim of the study was to assess patients’ and physicians’ expectations about follow-up and evaluate potential discrepancies. Materials and Methods: This prospective study included 122 patients after gynecological or breast cancer treatment at the Department of Gynecological and Breast Oncology, Maribor, Slovenia, and 72 primary level gynecologists and general practitioners in the Maribor region. A questionnaire was used to compare the expectations of patients and physicians regarding the center and location of follow-up, the prognosis revealed, attitudes towards examinations, and sense of safety and stress. Descriptive statistics and chi-square test were used. The study was approved by the institutional review board. Results: Patients consider it more important to be followed-up at the center of treatment, closest to their home, and to be exactly informed about the prognosis. Unlike their physicians, patients consider the sense of safety and stress caused by regular visits as more important, wish to have consultations with the nurse, and many of them would rather visit the physician when symptoms occur as opposed to on a regular basis. Conclusions: Given the lack of evidence-based improvement of survival with regular follow-up, in accordance with the present results, individualization of scheduling follow-up visits with the lowest acceptable frequency and intermediate nurse consultations might be associated with meeting patients’ expectations without compromising survival outcomes.

Patients’ and physicians’ expectations
Breast cancer
Figure 1.
Back to top