Exploring the role of general practitioners in addressing financial toxicity in cancer patients
Supportive Care in Cancer
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Clinical Trials Group, Australia National Health and Medical Research Council
NHMRC Number : APP1194051
Financial toxicity (FT) describes financial distress or hardship as an outcome of cancer and its treatment. Minimising the impact of FT requires early assessment and intervention. General practice plays a significant role in the support of a person with cancer and may have an important role in the management of FT. The purpose of this study was to understand perspectives of general practitioners (GP) on addressing FT in the primary care setting, which may then help inform strategies to further support collaborative efforts to address FT.
A qualitative interpretive approach was utilised for this study. GPs were recruited through a GP conference and other professional networks using purposive, snowballing sampling techniques. Data collection continued until sufficient rich data had been obtained. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed using inductive analysis techniques.
Twenty (n = 20) GPs participated in semi-structured in-depth telephone interviews. GPs identified that their role positions them well to provide some FT support, but there are limitations. Perceptions and philosophies about cancer management were drivers of referrals and financial conversations. Priorities for care of FT by GPs included improved cost information provision and accessible support.
GPs can play an important role in helping to address FT associated with cancer and its treatments if supported with the right information.