Development and pilot testing of a nurse-led posttreatment support package for bowel cancer survivors

Cancer Nurs. 2011 May-Jun;34(3):E1-10. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181f22f02.


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common cancer affecting both men and women in Australia. The illness and related treatments can cause distressing adverse effects, impact on emotional and psychological well-being, and adversely affect social, occupational, and relationship functioning. Current models of follow-up fail to address the complex needs arising after treatment completion. Strategies to better prepare and support survivors are urgently required.

Objectives: This study aimed to develop and pilot test an innovative supportive care program for people with potentially curative CRC.

Methods: The SurvivorCare intervention was developed by a multidisciplinary team using 3 key principles: (1) promote patient involvement and engagement; (2) address the specific needs of individual patients, and (3) use evidence-based strategies to promote well-being and reduce treatment sequelae. It also addressed 4 essential components of survivorship planning, defined by the US Institute of Medicine. Ten survivors completed questionnaires and satisfaction interviews before and after receiving the intervention.

Results: SurvivorCare comprises survivorship educational materials (booklet, DVD, and question prompt list), a tailored survivorship care plan, a tailored nurse-led end-of-treatment consultation, and 3 follow-up telephone calls. Pilot data demonstrated that survivors considered the intervention appropriate, relevant, and useful.

Conclusions: SurvivorCare is a well-received, comprehensive intervention that will now be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial aiming to reduce distress and unmet needs and improve quality of life in CRC survivors.

Implications for practice: If SurvivorCare is shown to be effective, it will be possible to quickly and broadly disseminate this model of care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Evidence-Based Nursing
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hotlines
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Development*
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors*
  • Time Factors