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Table 2 Factors influencing the speed of cancer diagnosis

From: Factors influencing the speed of cancer diagnosis in rural Western Australia: a General Practice perspective

Factor Delaying diagnosis Facilitating diagnosis
Patient Need to travel to clinics in the capital may have financial and logistical implications for the patient and therefore lead to procrastination. Patients in rural areas more likely to comply with GPs advice or attend appointments.
Health professional Different gender of GP may deter some patients from presenting with embarrassing symptoms that require intimate examination for diagnosis. Greater continuity of care. Quality of doctor-patient relationship
Task Equivocal tests necessitate repeat visits to clinic.
Inaccessible guidelines.
Some conditions can be managed by local GPs or by availability of local facilities.
Team Lack of coordination for individual patients' needs may result in inconvenient scheduling of appointments.
Limited scope to obtain second opinions.
Excellent communication and local professional networks.
Work Environment Short consultations for multiple and undifferentiated medical complaints especially in older patients. More comprehensive knowledge about the patient and the social context may be helpful in clinical assessment.
Organisational Access to specialists limited by distance from state capital. Visiting specialists may reduce burden of travel for patient.