Psychiatr Danub. 2021 Sep;33(Suppl 10):89-96.
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate and analyze the role of general practitioners/family physicians (GPs/FPs) in counseling and encouraging early cancer prevention, their perception of value systems towards health and disease (especially malignant diseases), knowledge and experience with the national and local cancer early detection program.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional observational study included 38 GPs/FPs from nine municipalities in the Hercegovina-Neretva and West Herzegovina canton. Data were collected by using an Individual questionnaire for all GPs/FPs which was prepared according to the Questionnaire for family physicians on implementing the Cancer Control Program, which is used in Croatia.
RESULTS: Statistical analysis showed that most GPs/FPs carried out activities on primary cancer prevention (educating patients about smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity, cancer education, and screening). The majority of respondents stated that it was not profitable to do screening for lung cancer and stomach cancer. Most GPs/FPs (73.7%) recommended mammography to women individually, sporadically, according to individual risk assessment.
CONCLUSIONS: The scientific contribution and the results of this work can be applied in practice in local communities. Given its position in the health system, ongoing contact with the population that elected it, and its impact on the local community in which it operates, GP/FP plays an important role in the prevention of disease. Integration of preventive activities into the daily work of the doctor plays the most important role in achieving excellent results. Family medicine is primarily focused on primary and secondary prevention, which is carried out through a continuous approach and long-term management of patients.