Impact of Cancer Survivorship Care Training on Rural Primary Care Practice Teams: a Mixed Methods Approach

J Cancer Educ. 2020 Sep 25. doi: 10.1007/s13187-020-01788-0. Online ahead of print.


With the increasing numbers of individuals surviving a diagnosis of cancer, an aging population, and more individuals experiencing multi-morbidity, primary care providers (PCPs) are seeing more patients with a history of cancer. Effective strategies are needed to adequately prepare the primary care workforce for the phase of cancer care now widely recognized as survivorship. A survivorship education program for rural primary care practices was developed using a community engagement process and delivered at the practice level by community health liaisons. A mixed method approach was used to evaluate the program impact which included a questionnaire and interviews. Descriptive analyses and generalized linear regression were used to evaluate quantitative outcomes from the questionnaires. Immersion crystallization was used to define themes from the qualitative components. Thirty-two (32) practices participated, averaging 10.3 team members/practice. The percent of correct responses to the knowledge questionnaire increased significantly, almost doubling between baseline and post-test (25% vs 46%, p < .001). Four major themes emerged from the interviews which included positive impact of the training, putting the training into practice, intention to change care delivery, contextual influences in survivorship care. Evidence from the cancer survivorship education program evaluation supports its value to key stakeholders and the potential wider dissemination of the iSurvive Program. These data also suggest the need for additional investigation into other ways beyond education that primary care practices can be supported to ensure the needs of the growing cancer survivor population in the US are met.

Keywords: Cancer survivorship; Healthcare delivery; Primary care; Rural healthcare; Team-based education.