Survivorship care plans: is there buy-in from community oncology providers?

Cancer. 2014 Mar 1;120(5):722-30. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28472. Epub 2013 Dec 10.


Background: The Institute of Medicine recommended that survivors of cancer and their primary care providers receive survivorship care plans (SCPs) to summarize cancer treatment and plan ongoing care. However, the use of SCPs remains limited.

Methods: Oncology providers at 14 National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program hospitals completed a survey regarding their perceptions of SCPs, including barriers to implementation, strategies for implementation, the role of oncology providers, and the importance of topics in SCPs (diagnosis, treatment, recommended ongoing care, and the aspects of ongoing care that the oncology practice will provide).

Results: Among 245 providers (response rate of 70%), 52% reported ever providing any component of an SCP to patients. The most widely reported barriers were lack of personnel and time to create SCPs (69% and 64% of respondents, respectively). The most widely endorsed strategy among those using SCPs was the use of a template with prespecified fields; 94% of those who used templates found them helpful. For each topic of an SCP, although 87% to 89% of oncology providers believed it was very important for primary care providers to receive the information, only 58% to 65% of respondents believed it was very important for patients to receive the information. Furthermore, 33% to 38% of respondents reported mixed feelings regarding whether it was the responsibility of oncology providers to provide SCPs.

Conclusions: Practices need additional resources to overcome barriers to implementing SCPs. We found resistance toward SCPs, particularly the perceived value for the survivor and the idea that oncology providers are responsible for SCP dissemination.

Keywords: communication; oncologist; primary health care; quality of health care; survivorship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Community Health Services*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology / standards
  • Medical Oncology / trends*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Patient Care Planning* / standards
  • Patient Care Planning* / trends
  • Physician's Role*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Survivors*