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The geriatricians’ perspectives on geriatric oncology in the Netherlands – results of a national survey

Elsevier Masson SAS
DOI: 10.1016/j.eurger.2014.02.003
  • Geriatric Oncology
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Elderly
  • Cancer Care
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Background A successful implementation of a geriatric evaluation into daily oncology practice will require a collaborative effort of specialists in the field of cancer and ageing. We set out to explore the geriatricians’ opinions on the current care for older cancer patients and to determine potential obstacles in the incorporation of a geriatric evaluation in oncology. Method A web-based survey sent to Dutch geriatricians. Results The response rate was 43% (95 out of 233). Of these, 57% reported that a geriatric evaluation was being used, but mostly on an ad hoc basis only and not routinely. Although many respondents expressed a desire for a more routine evaluation, nearly half of respondents also stated that improving cancer care at their centre was not a priority for them. Perceived obstacles for a routine implementation of a geriatric evaluation were a lack of time or personnel and a lack of interest on the side of cancer specialists. Conclusion The respondents in our survey report that most cancer elderly patients do not routinely received a geriatric evaluation prior to initiation of oncologic treatment, and many geriatricians reported that optimising care for older patients at their centre was not currently a priority. Given the significant burden and complexity of cancer for the elderly, we encourage geriatricians to make their expertise available to other specialists, providing them with the knowledge they need to optimise their care for older cancer patients.

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