Primary care physicians have diverse responsibilities. To collaborate with cancer specialists efficiently, they should prioritise roles desired by other collaborators rather than roles based on their own beliefs. No previous studies have reported the priority of roles such clinic-based general practitioners are expected to fulfil across the cancer care continuum. This study clarified the desired roles of clinic-based general practitioners to maximise person-centred cancer care.
A web-based multicentre questionnaire in Japan was distributed to physicians in 2019. Physician roles within the cancer care continuum were divided into 12 categories, including prevention, diagnosis, surgery, follow-up with cancer survivors, chemotherapy, and palliative care. Responses were evaluated by the proportion of three high-priority items to determine the expected roles of clinic-based general practitioners according to responding physicians in similarly designated roles.
Seventy-eight departments (25% of those recruited) from 49 institutions returned questionnaires. Results revealed that some physicians had lower expectations for clinic-based general practitioners to diagnose cancer, and instead expected them to provide palliative care. However, some physicians expected clinic-based general practitioners to be involved in some treatment and survivorship care, though the clinic-based general practitioners did not report the same priority.
Clinic-based general practitioners prioritised involvement in prevention, diagnoses, and palliative care across the cancer continuum, although lower expectations were placed on them than they thought. Some additional expectations of their involvement in cancer treatment and survivorship care were unanticipated by them. These gaps represent issues that should be addressed.

© 2021. The Author(s).