It is important for a patient undergoing a treatment for a complex, complicated ailment or a rare disease to be concerned about what the future holds. There are concerns about the prognosis, side effects, recurrence, aggravation and control. He/She needs to know which doctor will follow Him/Her, how often to see the doctor for follow-up appointments, and what tests He/She should have. Understanding what to expect can help patients and their loved ones plan for follow-up care, make lifestyle changes, and make important health-related decisions.
Follow-up care involves regular medical check-ups that include a review of a symptoms and a physical exam. Follow-up care may include imaging procedures other lab tests. It is important because it helps to identify changes in health. Follow-up care is also important to help in the prevention or early detection of other comorbidities, address ongoing problems due to medication side effects, and check for physical and psychosocial effects that may develop months to years after the initial diagnosis and treatment ends.
The frequency and nature of follow-up care is personalised, based on the type of ailment, the type of treatment received, and the person's overall health, including possible treatment-related problems. Every ailment is followed up based on a personalised protocol.
Other services that may be helpful not just during treatment but also as part of follow-up care include support groups, couples counselling, genetic counselling, fertility/sexual counselling, home care services, nutrition counselling, physical therapy, pain management, and occupational or vocational therapy.