UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Describing perspectives of health care professionals on active surveillance for the management of prostate cancer Pang, Kittie; Fitch, Margaret; Ouellet, Veronique; Chevalier, Simone; Drachenberg, Darrel E; Finelli, Antonio; Lattouf, Jean-Baptiste; So, Alan; Sutcliffe, Simon; Tanguay, Simon; Saad, Fred; Mes-Masson, Anne-Marie


Background: Over the last decade, active surveillance has proven to be a safe approach for patients with low-risk prostate cancer. Although active surveillance presents several advantages for both patients and the health care system, all eligible patients do not adopt this approach. Our goal was to evaluate the factors that influence physicians to recommend active surveillance and the barriers that impact adherence to this approach. Methods: Focus groups (n = 5) were held with physicians who provided care for men with low-risk prostate cancer and had engaged in conversations with men and their families about active surveillance. The experience of health care professionals (HCPs) was captured to understand their decisions in proposing active surveillance and to reveal the barriers and facilitators that affect the adherence to this approach. A content analysis was performed on the verbatim transcripts from the sessions. Results: Although physicians agreed that active surveillance is a suitable approach for low-risk prostate cancer patients, they were concerned about the rapidly evolving and non-standardized guidelines for patient follow-up. They pointed out the need for additional tools to appropriately identify proper patients for whom active surveillance is the best option. Urologists and radiation-oncologists were keen to collaborate with each other, but the role of general practitioner remained controversial once patients were referred to a specialist. Conclusions: Integration of more reliable tools and/or markers in addition to more specific guidelines for patient follow-up would increase the confidence of both patients and physicians in the choice of active surveillance.

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