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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Michigan Study Looks at Primary Care Physician Role in Breast Cancer Treatment

University of Michigan School of Public Health professor, Dr. Lauren P. Wallner, is the lead author of a new study examining the involvement and engagement of primary care physicians (PCPs) with their patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Lauren wallner
[Photo: Dr. Lauren P. Wallner]

A survey was sent out to over 2,000 women in California and Georgia who had received their breast cancer diagnosis in the previous six months. The questions assessed quality of care, how informed their PCPs were about breast cancer, how often they spoke, and the PCP’s level of involvement in the process of treatment decisions.

Results of the surveys revealed that women who experienced high PCP engagement and high quality of care from their PCPs had a higher level of satisfaction with their treatment decisions. The survey also found that the surveyed women overall had received what they considered a high level of care from the point of their diagnosis. However, the survey population consisted of primarily middle-aged white women with private insurance and college education.

The association between PCP involvement and perception of care quality and treatment satisfaction that Dr. Wallner points out could be valuable in developing interventions to increase PCP involvement for other populations of women with breast cancer, particularly minorities and those with less education and more coexisting health problems, and improve their overall quality of care.

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