Non-specific symptoms and signs of cancer: different organisations of a cancer patient pathway in Denmark

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Objective: We aimed to investigate the Non-specific Symptoms and Signs of Cancer-Cancer Patient Pathway (NSSC-CPP) in order to describe organisational and clinical practice similarities and differences in the diagnostic work-up of suspected cancer in Denmark. Material and methods: A questionnaire on the organisation and practice pertaining to the NSSC-CPP was completed by all 21 diagnostic units in the five healthcare regions in Denmark. Results: The questionnaire responses revealed regional and intraregional differences in the organisation and clinical practice of the NSSC-CPP. CT scan was the most often used imaging in the NSSC-CPP but there was no consensus whether the CT scan should be ordered and evaluated by general practitioners (GPs) or by the diagnostic units. Two regions were consistent but had different modalities regarding referrals from GPs. Three regions had intra-regional differences. The units reported on different types and frequency of forum for patient plan discussion and how to end a NSSC-CPP. Conclusion: The NSSC-CPP is implemented with great regional and intra-regional differences in Denmark. GPs face different requirements when referring to the NSSC-CPP, which indicates that the division of role and responsibility between GPs and the diagnostic units is not well defined.KEY POINTS In Denmark, the cancer patient pathway for non-specific symptoms and signs of cancer (NSSC-CPP) has been implemented with variations, but little is known about these different modalities. This study showed that both at a regional and an intra-regional level: •General practitioners meet different implementation of national guidelines in the diagnostic units when referring to the NSSCP-CPP •The suitable patient group for the NSSC-CPP is not well defined •Quality criteria are needed to monitor, evaluate and improve the diagnostic work-up for patients with non-specific symptoms and signs of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Number of pages9
ISSN0281-3432
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • cancer patient pathway, diagnostic units, diagnostic work-up, Non-specific symptoms, primary healthcare, questionnaire

ID: 258099514