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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Dec 1;110(12):1352-1359. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djy057.

Randomized Trial of the Impact of Empowering Childhood Cancer Survivors With Survivorship Care Plans.

Author information

Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL.
Department of General Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT.



A survivorship care plan (SCP), that is, individualized treatment summary and schedule of off-therapy surveillance, will be mandated by January 2019. It is unclear whether SCPs improve adherence to recommended follow-up care in the community. In this trial, we evaluated the impact of randomly assigning childhood cancer survivors to 1) SCPs to be taken to their primary care physician (PCP) to implement or 2) survivorship clinic (SC) on health care quality measures.


Eligibility included cancer diagnosis younger than age 18 years (2000-2012), cancer free, one or more years off therapy, and no prior survivorship clinic attendance. At 12 months, the random assignment groups were compared (SCP+PCP vs SC) by intent-to-treat analysis with two-sided statistical tests in terms of patient adherence to guideline-recommended surveillance tests (eg, echocardiogram) and number of newly identified late complications of therapy.


From 2011 to 2013, 96 participants (46.9% female, mean age = 15.9 ± 6.1 years) were randomly assigned. Adherence to 14 evaluated guideline-recommended surveillance tests ranged from 0% to 46.9% in the SCP+PCP group (n = 47) and from 50.0% to 86.4% in the SC group (n = 47). Adherence to 10 tests was statistically significantly different between the groups (all P < .05). One mild new late complication was identified in the SCP+PCP group compared with 21 late complications, ranging from mild to severe, identified in 11 patients in the SC group (2.1% vs 23.4% of patients, respectively, P = .003).


Our randomized trial suggests that empowering childhood cancer survivors with SCPs to be implemented by their PCPs is not sufficient to meet consensus follow-up recommendations.


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