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Keywords:

  • childhood cancer;
  • family physician;
  • follow-up;
  • general practitioner;
  • primary care;
  • survivor

Abstract

Background

An increasing number of childhood cancer survivors need long-term follow-up care. Different models address this problem, including that of follow-up by general practitioners (GP). We describe models that involve GPs in follow-up for childhood cancer survivors, their advantages and disadvantages, clinics that employ these models, and the elements essential to high-quality, GP-led follow-up care.

Procedure

We searched four databases (PubMed [including Medline], Embase, Cochrane, and CINAHL) without language restrictions.

Results

We found 26 publications, which explicitly mentioned GP-led follow-up. Two models were commonly described: GP-only, and shared care between GP and pediatric oncology or late effects clinic. The shared care model appears to have advantages over GP-only follow-up. We found four clinics using models of GP-led follow-up, described in five papers. We identified well-organized transition, treatment summary, survivorship care plan, education of GPs and guidelines as necessary components of successful follow-up.

Conclusion

Scarcity of literature necessitated a review rather than a meta-analysis. More research on the outcomes of GP-led care is necessary to confirm the model for follow-up of childhood cancer survivors in the long term. However, with the necessary elements in place, the model of GP-led follow-up, and shared care in particular, holds promise. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013;60:1565–1573. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.