Breast cancer is prevalent and has high cure rates. The resultant increase in numbers of breast cancer survivors (BCS) may overwhelm the current oncology workforce in years to come. We postulate that primary care physicians (PCPs) could play an expanded role in comanaging survivors, provided they are given the appropriate tools and training to do so.
To explore the perspectives of PCPs towards managing BCS in a community-based shared-care programme with oncologists.
Eleven focus groups and six in-depth interviews were conducted with seventy PCPs recruited by purposive sampling. All sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and coded by three independent investigators. Thematic data analysis was performed and the coding process facilitated by NVivo 12.
Majority of PCPs reported currently limited roles in managing acute and non-cancer issues, optimizing comorbidities and preventive care. PCPs aspired to expand their role to include cancer surveillance, risk assessment and addressing unmet psychosocial needs. PCPs preferred to harmonize cancer survivorship management of their primary care patients who are also BCS, with defined role distinct from oncologists. Training to understand the care protocol, enhancement of communication skills, confidence and trust were deemed necessary. PCPs proposed selection criteria of BCS and adequacy of their medical information; increased consultation time; contact details and timely access to oncologists (if needed) in the shared-care programme.
PCPs were willing to share the care of BCS with oncologists but recommended role definition, training, clinical protocol, resources and access to oncologist’s consultation to optimize the programme implementation.

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