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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Oct 16;105(20):1579-87. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt258. Epub 2013 Oct 4.

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

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Affiliations of authors: Office of Cancer Survivorship, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (LPF, CP, CMA, EEK, JHR), and Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, Division of Cancer Prevention (LPF, EEK), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; Behavioral Research Center, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA (CRL); Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-Based Practice, Indianapolis, IN (DAH); Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN (DAH); Indiana University Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research, Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN (DAH); University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and School of Public Health, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA (PAG); Office of Extramural Programs, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (NA) Present address: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Washington, DC (LPF); Outcomes Research Branch, Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (EEK).



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.


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).


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).


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.

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