Advanced Practice Providers and Survivorship Care: They Can Deliver

J Oncol Pract. 2019 Mar;15(3):e230-e237. doi: 10.1200/JOP.18.00359. Epub 2019 Jan 7.


Introduction: As the number of cancer survivors grows, new models of survivorship care are being implemented, but there is limited evaluation to date. This retrospective review assesses the concordance of care provided to adult-onset cancer survivors by advanced practice providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) with Institute of Medicine guidelines for survivorship care.

Methods: Records from three survivorship clinics at a single institution were reviewed for frequency of recurrence surveillance, screening for second cancers, symptom management (physical, psychological), health promotion education (alcohol, tobacco, cholesterol, and bone density screenings; diet/exercise discussion), care coordination, and provision of care plan. Data were characterized using descriptive statistics.

Results: Over 2 years, 9,052 unique survivorship visits occurred; 210 breast, 208 prostate, and 204 colorectal visits were randomly selected for review. All patients with breast cancer underwent surveillance for recurrence; 99% were screened for new cancers. Discussion of health promotion activities ranged from 83% to 100%; 91% of patients were reviewed for physical symptoms, and 93% were reviewed for psychological symptoms. All patients with prostate cancer underwent recurrence surveillance; 97% were screened for new primaries. Health promotion activities ranged from 70% to 97%, and symptoms were discussed in 89% of visits. All patients with colorectal cancer underwent a surveillance colonoscopy for recurrence; 97% had a carcinoembryonic antigen test. Among women, 97% had mammograms, and 96% had a Papanicolaou test; 83% of men had a prostate-specific antigen test. Health promotion activities ranged from 69% to 100%, and symptoms were discussed in 93% to 97% of visits.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that advanced practice providers can provide survivorship care in accordance with Institute of Medicine standards, which provide a normative standard. This assessment is an important step in evaluating survivorship outcomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Recurrence
  • Registries
  • Survivorship*