The views of bowel cancer survivors and health care professionals regarding survivorship care plans and post treatment follow up

J Cancer Surviv. 2009 Jun;3(2):99-108. doi: 10.1007/s11764-009-0086-1. Epub 2009 May 5.


Goals of work: Increasing numbers of people survive cancer beyond diagnosis and treatment. Many survivors have ongoing needs and they may encounter fragmented, poorly coordinated follow up care. Survivorship care plans (SCP) have been promoted as a key aspect of survivorship care. This study aimed to survey key stakeholders in the care of people with colorectal cancer (survivors, primary care providers and hospital-based healthcare professionals) regarding follow-up and SCP.

Patients and methods: In study 1, cancer survivors completed a questionnaire regarding their follow-up and experiences during survivorship. Participants' primary care physicians completed a phone interview regarding proposed SCP elements. A subgroup of survivors reviewed a sample SCP and participated in a phone interview regarding this. In study 2, healthcare professionals working with colorectal cancer patients completed a questionnaire regarding follow-up and proposed elements of a SCP.

Main results: Twenty survivors completed the questionnaire, 14 primary care providers completed a phone interview and 12 survivors reviewed the sample SCP. Ninety-five healthcare professionals (30 medical professionals and 65 nurses) completed the questionnaire. There was strong support for core elements of the SCP. Additionally, nurses and survivors expressed support for supportive care and psychosocial elements. There was lack of consensus regarding who should prepare and discuss the SCP.

Conclusions: There is strong support for the development and use of SCPs for bowel cancer survivors. There is some variation in opinion regarding ideal content of the SCP, who might prepare it, and how it might be discussed and utilised.

Implications for cancer survivors: Overcoming identified barriers to implementing SCPs for bowel cancer survivors is necessary for high quality cancer care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Rate
  • Survivors* / psychology
  • Survivors* / statistics & numerical data