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Table 2 Elements influencing the decision by general practitioners (436) to refer an elderly cancer patient

From: Factors influencing general practitioners in the referral of elderly cancer patients

Elements influencing GPs Cancer (non specified) Prostate cancer Sigmoid colon cancer
  N (%) N (%) N (%)
Wish or reluctance of patient (P*) 364 (83.5) 158 (36.2) 66 (15.2)
Presence of and/or wish of family (P) 348 (79.8) 21 (4.8) 107 (24.6)
Presence or absence of serious comorbidity (P) 347 (79.5) 79 (18.1) 115 (26.4)
Invasive investigations unsuitable (P) 334 (76.6) 52 (11.9) 33 (7.6)
Degree of mental and physical autonomy (P) 328 (75.2) 126 (28.9) 93 (21.4)
Patient's psychological state (P) 307 (70.0) 108 (24.8) 63 (14.5)
Short patient life expectancy (P) 300 (68.4) 32 (7.3) 24 (5.5)
Awareness of diagnosis by patient (P) 254 (58.1) 36 (8.3) 36 (8.3)
Real age of patient (P) 243 (56.3) 113 (25.9) 81 (18.6)
Patient's financial resources (P) 82 (18.4) 1 (0.2) 0 (0.0)
Side effects and tolerance towards treatment (expected) (T) 348 (79.8) 24 (5.5) 14 (3.2)
Seriousness of cancer symptoms (T) 345 (79.1) 131 (30.0) 143 (32.8)
Stage of the disease (T) 314 (71.9) 90 (20.6) 192 (44.1)
Anatomical localisation of the cancer (T) 294 (67.4) 172 (39.4) 151 (34.7)
Presence of good clinical practice guidelines(T) 293 (67.2) 34 (7.8) 23 (5.3)
In the habit of collaborating with specialised cancer teams (O§) 337 (77.2) 46 (10.6) 58 (13.3)
Time lapse before care is instated (O) 314 (71.9) 27 (6.2) 25 (5.7)
Organisational difficulties in providing care (O) 222 (50.2) 34 (7.8) 31 (7.1)
Other 55 (12.8) 32 (7.3) 19 (4.4)
  1. *: Patient-related factors (P); †: the three elements mainly influencing the GPs in the three different situations; ‡: Tumour-related factors (T); §: organisational factors (O)