Since 2011 I have been working as a researcher at the Comprehensive Cancer Organization the Netherlands and Tilburg University. My research focuses on understanding consequences of gynecological cancer for patients and their partners and improving follow-up care practice through a set of research projects.
In 2014, I received a Research Fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society on follow-care. Due to the increasing numbers of cancer survivors the organization of the follow-up care requires change, to diminish the pressure on the health care system and costs. However, in this discussion there is surprisingly little consideration for the patients’ and partners’ perspective. This is remarkable, as research shows that even the current intensive follow-up does not always fully address the patients’ and partners’ needs.
Evidence on effective follow-up care regimes is lacking and studies are needed. I’m principal investigator of the multicenter ENSURE trial, which assesses the effects of a reduced follow-up schedule for early stage endometrial cancer patients on patient satisfaction and cost-effectiveness.
It is debated that the primary care physician may increasingly be involved in cancer follow-up care. However, patients perspective on the role of primary care physician in follow-up care is lacking. A study among melanoma and prostate cancer patients will assess the preference of patients for follow-up care and the current role of primary care physician during diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care.