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BJGP Open ; 5(4)2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234852


BACKGROUND: Early diagnosis is key to improve cancer outcomes, and most cancers are diagnosed in primary care after initial symptomatic presentation. Emerging evidence suggests an increase in avoidable cancer deaths owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. AIM: To understand GPs' views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical assessment of possible cancer. DESIGN & SETTING: A qualitative semi-structured interview study with GPs from the East of England. METHOD: GPs were purposively sampled based on age, sex, and years of experience. Interviews were conducted via Zoom or Microsoft Teams in August and September 2020. Transcribed recordings were analysed inductively using thematic analysis. The Model of Pathways to Treatment guided the analysis. RESULTS: Three themes were identified across 23 interviews on GP views on the impact of: (1) changes in patient help-seeking behaviour on symptoms at presentation; (2) remote consultations on managing patients with possible cancer symptoms; and (3) the COVID-19 pandemic on triaging and referring patients with possible cancer. There were positive changes to practice, but concerns were raised about the adequacy of remote consultations for assessing symptoms. Some GPs reported delayed cancer diagnoses, and uncertainty about how backlog in referrals would be managed. CONCLUSION: This study provides new evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on assessing symptomatic patients. Recommendations are made to inform safe and effective primary care clinical practice. Urgent action is needed to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure appropriate symptomatic assessment now and in the future.

J Med Educ Curric Dev ; 7: 2382120520938706, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662495


COVID-19 has disrupted the status quo for healthcare education. As a result, redeployed doctors and nurses are caring for patients at the end of their lives and breaking bad news with little experience or training. This article aims to understand why redeployed doctors and nurses feel unprepared to break bad news through a content analysis of their training curricula. As digital learning has come to the forefront in health care education during this time, relevant digital resources for breaking bad news training are suggested.