Communicating cancer risk in primary care

The latest study from CaHRU was published in Health Expectations titled, ‘Communicating cancer risk in the primary care consultation when using a cancer risk assessment tool: Qualitative study with service users and practitioners’. The study was led by Dr Joseph Akanuwe, and formed part of his doctoral studies, supervised by the other co-authors, Prof Niro Siriwardena, Dr Sharon Black and Prof Sara Owen.

This was a qualitative study, which sought to explore the perspectives of service users and primary care practitioners on communicating cancer risk information to patients, when using a cancer risk assessment tool. The study involved interviews and focus groups with 19 service users and 17 general practitioners and practice nurses. Participants suggested ways that clinicians could improve communication of cancer risk information. THese included personalizing risk information, involving patients when  the tool, sharing risk information openly, and providing sufficient time when using the tool during consultations.

Overall, communication of cancer risk information was deemed complex and difficult but the analysis identified helpful strategies for improving communication when patients required cancer risk estimations during primary care consultations.

By Prof Niro Siriwardena



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