Cancer Survivors: Discussions of Survivorship Have Room For Improvement

Danielle Blanch Hartigan, PhD, MPH Cancer Prevention Fellow National Cancer InstituteMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Danielle Blanch Hartigan, PhD, MPH
Cancer Prevention Fellow
National Cancer Institute
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Blanch-Hartigan: Results from this nationally-representative survey of oncologists and PCPs suggest that discussion of survivorship care planning with cancer survivors does not always occur. Training and knowledge specific to survivorship care and coordinated care between PCPs and oncologists were associated with increased survivorship discussions with survivors.


MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Blanch-Hartigan: Less than 5% of oncologists nationwide reported consistently giving survivors a written survivorship care plan and having discussions of follow-up care with survivors.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Blanch-Hartigan: Creating a written survivorship care plan may not be enough; oncologists and PCPs should involve survivors in the survivorship care planning process through discussions of recommendations for follow-up care.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Blanch-Hartigan: In addition to providing a benchmark to assess implementation of new survivorship care mandates, future research should develop intervention studies to test the hypothesis that improved care coordination and enhanced physician survivorship training will increase the frequency of survivorship care discussions and downstream positive health outcomes for the survivor.

 

Citation:

Provision and Discussion of Survivorship Care Plans Among Cancer Survivors: Results of a Nationally Representative Survey of Oncologists and Primary Care Physicians

Danielle Blanch-Hartigan, Laura P. Forsythe, Catherine M. Alfano, Tenbroeck Smith, Larissa Nekhlyudov, Patricia A. Ganz, and Julia H. Rowland

JCO JCO.2013.51.7540; published online on April 21, 2014;