Publication Abstract

Authors: Forsythe LP, Parry C, Alfano CM, Kent EE, Leach CR, Haggstrom DA, Ganz PA, Aziz N, Rowland JH

Title: Use of survivorship care plans in the United States: associations with survivorship care.

Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst 105(20):1579-87

Date: 2013 Oct 16

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Survivorship care plans (SCPs), including a treatment summary and follow-up plan, intend to promote coordination of posttreatment cancer care; yet, little is known about the provision of these documents by oncologists to primary care physicians (PCPs). This study compared self-reported oncologist provision and PCP receipt of treatment summaries and follow-up plans, characterized oncologists who reported consistent provision of these documents to PCPs, and examined associations between PCP receipt of these documents and survivorship care. METHODS: A nationally representative sample of medical oncologists (n = 1130) and PCPs (n = 1020) were surveyed regarding follow-up care for breast and colon cancer survivors. All statistical tests were two-sided. Multivariable regression models identified factors associated with oncologist provision of treatment summaries and SCPs to PCPs (always/almost always vs less frequent). RESULTS: Nearly half of oncologists reported always/almost always providing treatment summaries, whereas 20.2% reported always/almost always providing SCPs (treatment summary + follow-up plan). Approximately one-third of PCPs indicated always/almost always receiving treatment summaries; 13.4% reported always/almost always receiving SCPs. Oncologists who reported training in late- and long-term effects of cancer and use of electronic medical records were more likely to report SCP provision (P < .05). PCP receipt of SCPs was associated with better PCP-reported care coordination, physician-physician communication, and confidence in survivorship care knowledge compared to receipt of neither treatment summaries nor SCPs (P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Providing SCPs to PCPs may enhance survivorship care coordination, physician-physician communication, and PCP confidence. However, considerable progress will be necessary to achieve implementation of sharing SCPs among oncologists and PCPs.