Excess of health care use in general practice and of comorbid chronic conditions in cancer patients compared to controls

Lea Jabaaij, Marjan van den Akker, Francois G. Schellevis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: The number of cancer patients and the number of patients surviving initial treatments is expected to rise. Traditionally, follow-up monitoring takes place in secondary care. The contribution of general practice is less visible and not clearly defined. This study aimed to compare healthcare use in general practice of patients with cancer during the follow-up phase compared with patients without cancer. We also examined the influence of comorbid conditions on healthcare utilisation by these patients in general practice. Methods: We compared health care use of N=8,703 cancer patients with an age and gender-matched control group of patients without cancer from the same practice. Data originate from the Netherlands Information Network of General Practice (LINH), a representative network consisting of 92 general practices with 350,000 enlisted patients. Health care utilisation was assessed using data on contacts with general practice, prescription and referral rates recorded between 1/1/2001 and 31/12/2007. The existence of additional comorbid chronic conditions (ICPC coded) was taken into account. Results: Compared to matched controls, cancer patients had more contacts with their GP-practice (19.5 vs. 11.9, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60
JournalBMC Family Practice
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2012


  • Neoplasms
  • Cancer
  • Primary health care
  • General practitioner
  • Follow-up
  • Comorbidity

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