GPs’ insights into prostate cancer diagnosis and care in regional Victoria, Australia

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The aim of this research was to ascertain General Practitioners’ (GPs) perceptions and experiences of prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis, treatment, and care in metropolitan Melbourne and in a regional area of Victoria, Australia, associated with poorer PCa outcomes. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with GPs (N= 10) practising in the selected region and in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. GPs thought that most men wanted PSA testing and were willing to undergo rectal examination. Some GPs were troubled by inconsistent screening guidelines from different professional bodies. They identified a need for resources to support them in educating patients about PCa. GPs thought it might be more difficult for young female GPs to care for patients in relation to PCa screening; differences were evident between younger female GPs and older male GPs in the approach they adopted in interviews. Regional GPs often referred patients to services in larger centres because no local specialists were available. GPs also found it hard to explain differences in PCa outcomes in regional and metropolitan areas. Potential age and gender differences in GPs in relation to prostate care warrant further examination. Although GPs were able to offer only limited insights into the poorer outcomes in regional areas, they identified ways in which they could be assisted to provide best-practice care. Multidisciplinary care, resources for patients, and consistent guidelines for the detection and treatment of PCa should contribute to better care in all areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)2365-2379
Number of pages15
JournalThe Qualitative Report
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2016


  • Care
  • Diagnosis
  • General practitioners
  • Prostate cancer
  • Qualitative research
  • Regional
  • Screening

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