- Senior Lead: Prof Willie Hamilton
- Project Co-Leads: Prof Anne Spencer and Dr Gary Abel
- Others involved: John Cambell, Martin Pitt, Fiona Warren, Rod Taylor and Sarah Dean (all University of Exeter Medical School)
This is a cluster-randomised controlled trial of electronic clinical decision support tools in 710 English general practices.
Early cancer diagnosis may be helped by prompting the GP if a patient could have cancer. The GP and patient can then decide if the chance of cancer is enough for testing to be done. We have made electronic versions of ‘Risk Assessment Tools’ for six cancers: colon, kidney, bladder, ovary, lung and stomach/oesophagus. These can be placed in GP computing systems.
In the trial, we wish to test if the use of these electronic tools answer the following questions:
- Does it mean cancer is diagnosed at a better stage?
- Does it save lives?
- Do patients and doctors approve of the tools?
- Does use of the tools work economically?
These questions will be answered in a large trial in England. Half of the 710 practices will be offered the tool, the other half will not.
We will measure the number of tests for cancer and we will find out how many cancer patients are discovered. This information will be collected from routine data collected by the NHS.
The trial may also tell us if early diagnosis of cancer matters and by how much.