Incorporating cancer risk information into general practice: a qualitative study using focus groups with health professionals.
Muir, Kenneth R
British Journal of General Practice
Royal College of General Practitioners
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Usher-Smith, J., Silarova, B., Ward, A., Youell, J., Muir, K. R., Campbell, J., & Warcaba, J. (2017). Incorporating cancer risk information into general practice: a qualitative study using focus groups with health professionals.. British Journal of General Practice, 67 (656), e218-e226. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp17X689401
BACKGROUND: It is estimated that approximately 40% of all cases of cancer are attributable to lifestyle factors. Providing people with personalised information about their future risk of cancer may help promote behaviour change. AIM: To explore the views of health professionals on incorporating personalised cancer risk information, based on lifestyle factors, into general practice. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative study using data from six focus groups with a total of 24 general practice health professionals from the NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group in England. METHOD: The focus groups were guided by a schedule covering current provision of lifestyle advice relating to cancer and views on incorporating personalised cancer risk information. Data were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and then analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Providing lifestyle advice was viewed as a core activity within general practice but the influence of lifestyle on cancer risk was rarely discussed. The word 'cancer' was seen as a potentially powerful motivator for lifestyle change but the fact that it could generate health anxiety was also recognised. Most focus group participants felt that a numerical risk estimate was more likely to influence behaviour than generic advice. All felt that general practice should provide this information, but there was a clear need for additional resources for it to be offered widely. CONCLUSION: Study participants were in support of providing personalised cancer risk information in general practice. The findings highlight a number of potential benefits and challenges that will inform the future development of interventions in general practice to promote behaviour change for cancer prevention.
behaviour change, cancer, prevention, primary care, risk assessment, England, Focus Groups, General Practice, Health Education, Health Personnel, Health Promotion, Humans, Life Style, Motivation, Neoplasms, Precision Medicine, Primary Prevention, Qualitative Research, Risk Assessment, Risk Reduction Behavior
This study was funded by an innovation grant from the Cancer Research UK — BUPA Foundation Fund (ref: C55650/A20818). Juliet Usher-Smith is supported by a National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lectureship. Barbora Silarova was supported by the Medical Research Council [MC_UU_12015/4].
Cancer Research UK (20818)
Embargo Lift Date
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp17X689401
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/260944
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/