breast cancer, group medical visit, gynecologic care
Women with breast cancer have complex and unique gynecologic needs that are challenging to effectively and comprehensively meet in a traditional gynecology visit format. Group medical visits are an effective and well-received model of care in other disease settings and can provide comprehensive health education as an adjunct to one-on-one evaluation and treatment. There are limited data regarding the use of this type of health care delivery in providing gynecology-focused care to women affected by breast cancer.
A group medical visit model was created for gynecology providers to see new breast cancer patient consults. From May 2012 to February 2014, 148 patients (3–6 per group) participated in a 1-hour informational session followed by a 15- to 30-minute individual visit with a physician that included history, physical examination and evaluation. We surveyed 101 women who attended these visits to evaluate a group model for providing gynecologic care and educational support to women with breast cancer.
Of those who responded to the survey question, 100% agreed or somewhat agreed that their expectations for an initial intake visit were met during the group visit; 81% agreed or somewhat agreed that they felt a group visit was preferable to an individual introductory visit. More than 95% agreed or somewhat agreed that the information was understandable and their questions were answered during the visit. Only 5 respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the additional time commitment for this type of visit.
The majority of women surveyed expressed satisfaction with their experience with a group visit format. The women who participated preferred this format compared to an individual intake appointment when establishing gynecology care after breast cancer diagnosis/treatment, regardless of age, menopausal status, cancer stage or hormone receptor status. While further studies are warranted to directly compare and further assess satisfaction and efficacy, gynecologists may consider using a group model to provide comprehensive education and care to this patient population.
Greenwald SR, Watson S, Goldman M, Rowen TS. Group medical visits to provide gynecologic care for women affected by breast cancer. J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2017;4:18-23. doi: 10.17294/2330-0698.1269