Post-diagnosis skin cancer follow-up in rural general practice: A mixed-method study

Ei Thu Aung, David G. Campbell, Eleanor KL Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background and objectives
The literature reveals a lack of consensus on recommendations for follow-up of skin cancer in general practice for all types of skin cancer. The objective of this paper was to evaluate post-treatment surveillance practices for both melanotic and non-melanotic skin cancers (NMSC) by general practitioners (GPs) in regional Victoria, and to identify challenges in follow-up for skin cancers in rural areas.
Methods
A mixed-method study involving a survey and semi-structured interviews with GPs and registrars in Gippsland was carried out in 2015.
Results
The survey of 65 participants showed that 69% (45/65) followed up NMSC opportunistically, while 66% (43/65) reported using a structured follow-up practice for melanoma. Six practitioners from the interviews identified the patient’s level of education, time constraints, practitioner accessibility and specialists’ availability as some common challenges in follow-up.
Discussion
We recommend that rural GPs review follow-up strategies for all skin cancers, through the establishment of guidelines and a recall system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-228
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of General Practice
Volume48
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • educational status
  • family practice
  • general practice
  • general practitioners
  • melanoma
  • rural health services
  • skin neoplasms
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • Victoria

Cite this