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Article

Understanding Colorectal Cancer Patient Experiences with Family Practitioners in Canada

1
Colorectal Cancer Canada, Westmount, QC H3Z 2P9, Canada
2
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(6), 3122-3148; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31060237
Submission received: 2 April 2024 / Revised: 9 May 2024 / Accepted: 22 May 2024 / Published: 30 May 2024
(This article belongs to the Section Gastrointestinal Oncology)

Abstract

Despite ongoing screening efforts, colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a leading cause of death in Canada. The aim of this study was to better understand the experiences of Canadian CRC patients with their family practitioners (FPs) during and after their CRC diagnosis. Patient-reported data were collected through an online questionnaire to understand their CRC diagnosis experiences and identify potential gaps in care. Various factors contributing to challenges throughout a patient’s CRC diagnosis (e.g., delayed CRC diagnosis) were determined using descriptive, qualitative, and inferential analyses. These factors could be targeted to optimize CRC care. This study found that 40.6% of the 175 respondents were unaware of at least one of the following aspects of CRC prior to their diagnosis: early-age onset (EAO), symptoms, and screening procedures. While 84.6% had access to a family physician (FP) before their diagnosis, only 17.7% were diagnosed by FPs. Higher proportions of younger individuals experienced misdiagnoses and felt dismissed compared to older individuals. Only half felt fully informed about their diagnosis when it was explained to them by their FP, while 53.1% had their diagnosis explained in plain language. Transitioning towards patient-centred care would promote pre-diagnosis CRC awareness, address differences in management of CRC care (e.g., dismissal and support), and accommodate for age and health-literacy-related disparities, thereby improving CRC care pathways for patients. Future research should investigate FPs experiences in detecting CRC cases to develop educational resources and recommendations, enhancing early detection and improving patient outcomes (1).
Keywords: colorectal cancer; family practitioner; early-age onset; primary care provider; CRC; misdiagnosis; self-advocacy; CRC symptoms; CRC awareness; patient-centred care colorectal cancer; family practitioner; early-age onset; primary care provider; CRC; misdiagnosis; self-advocacy; CRC symptoms; CRC awareness; patient-centred care

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Mksyartinian, P.; Mohammad, N.; Wildgoose, P.; Stein, B.D. Understanding Colorectal Cancer Patient Experiences with Family Practitioners in Canada. Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31, 3122-3148. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31060237

AMA Style

Mksyartinian P, Mohammad N, Wildgoose P, Stein BD. Understanding Colorectal Cancer Patient Experiences with Family Practitioners in Canada. Current Oncology. 2024; 31(6):3122-3148. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31060237

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mksyartinian, Patil, Neha Mohammad, Petra Wildgoose, and Barry D. Stein. 2024. "Understanding Colorectal Cancer Patient Experiences with Family Practitioners in Canada" Current Oncology 31, no. 6: 3122-3148. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31060237

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