The Effectiveness of Shared Care in Cancer Survivors-A Systematic Review

Int J Integr Care. 2018 Oct 12;18(4):2. doi: 10.5334/ijic.3954.


Objectives: To determine whether the shared care model during the follow-up of cancer survivors is effective in terms of patient-reported outcomes, clinical outcomes, and continuity of care.

Methods: Using systematic review methods, studies were searched from six electronic databases-MEDLINE (n = 474), British Nursing Index (n = 320), CINAHL (n = 437), Cochrane Library (n = 370), HMIC (n = 77), and Social Care Online (n = 210). The review considered all health-related outcomes that evaluated the effectiveness of shared care for cancer survivors.

Results: Eight randomised controlled trials and three descriptive papers were identified. The results showed the likelihood of similar effectiveness between shared care and usual care in terms of quality of life, mental health outcomes, unmet needs, and clinical outcomes in cancer survivorship. The reviewed studies indicated that shared care overall is highly acceptable to cancer survivors and primary care practitioners, and shared care might be cheaper than usual care.

Conclusions: The results from this review suggest that the patient satisfaction of shared care is higher than usual care, and the effectiveness of shared care is similar to usual care in cancer survivorship. Interventions that formally involve primary care and improve the communication between primary care and hospital care could support the PCPs in the follow-up.

Keywords: cancer; follow-up; shared care; survivors.