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Negotiating bodily sensations between patients and GPs in the context of standardized cancer patient pathways: an observational study in primary care
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4212-8080
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1975-9060
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Unit of Research, Education, and Development, Östersund Hospital.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5203-9877
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
2020 (English)In: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 46Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: How interactions during patient-provider encounters in Swedish primary care construct access to further care is rarely explored. This is especially relevant nowadays since Standardized Cancer Patient Pathways have been implemented as an organizational tool for standardizing the diagnostic process and increase equity in access. Most patients with symptoms indicating serious illness as cancer initially start their diagnostic trajectory in primary care. Furthermore, cancer symptoms are diverse and puts high demands on general practitioners (GPs). Hence, we aim to explore how presentation of bodily sensations were constructed and legitimized in primary care encounters within the context of Standardized Cancer Patient Pathways (CPPs).

METHODS: Participant observations of patient-provider encounters (n = 18, on 18 unique patients and 13 GPs) were carried out at primary healthcare centres in one county in northern Sweden. Participants were consecutively sampled and inclusion criteria were i) patients (≥18 years) seeking care for sensations/symptoms that could indicate cancer, or had worries about cancer, Swedish speaking and with no cognitive disabilities, and ii) GPs who met with these patients during the encounter. A constructivist approach of grounded theory method guided the data collection and was used as a method for analysis, and the COREQ-checklist for qualitative studies (Equator guidelines) were employed.

RESULTS: One conceptual model emerged from the analysis, consisting of one core category Negotiating bodily sensations to legitimize access, and four categories i) Justifying care-seeking, ii) Transmitting credibility, iii) Seeking and giving recognition, and iv) Balancing expectations with needs. We interpret the four categories as social processes that the patient and GP constructed interactively using different strategies to negotiate. Combined, these four processes illuminate how access was legitimized by negotiating bodily sensations.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients and GPs seem to be mutually dependent on each other and both patients' expertise and GPs' medical expertise need to be reconciled during the encounter. The four social processes reported in this study acknowledge the challenging task which both patients and primary healthcare face. Namely, negotiating sensations signaling possible cancer and further identifying and matching them with the best pathway for investigations corresponding as well to patients' needs as to standardized routines as CPPs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2020. Vol. 20, no 1, article id 46
Keywords [en]
Access, Cancer, Interaction, Negotiation, Primary healthcare, Standardized care pathways
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167739DOI: 10.1186/s12913-020-4893-4ISI: 000519894800001PubMedID: 31952534OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-167739DiVA, id: diva2:1390713
Available from: 2020-02-03 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-04-02Bibliographically approved

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