Nurse-navigated Care Plans May Improve Adherence in Underserved Populations

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Nurse-navigated treatment summaries and survivorship care plans may improve adherence.
Nurse-navigated treatment summaries and survivorship care plans may improve adherence.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Nurse-navigated treatment summaries and survivorship care plans (TSSCPs) may improve adherence to first treatment recommendations and follow-up appointment attendance in medically underserved patients with breast cancer, but may not improve time to treatment, a study presented at the 2016 Cancer Survivorship Symposium has shown.1

Because multiple cancer organizations advocate for the use of TSSCPs in patients with cancer, researchers in the Division of Nursing Research and Education at City of Hope in Duarte, California, sought to evaluate the benefits of a nurse-navigated, culturally and linguistically responsive TSSCP in underserved patients with breast cancer. To do so, they compared rates of compliance with treatment and follow-up in 26 patients who received TSSCPs with 38 controls who did not receive TSSCPs.

All patients had Medicaid insurance and 47% were racial and/or ethnic minorities.

For the study, patients were educated and assisted by a trained nurse in the use and completion of the TSSCP at the first clinic visit. Nurse-navigated TSSCPs were then completed at each subsequent visit through 12 months of follow-up.

Results showed that the time from diagnosis to treatment and the time from initial clinic visit to treatment were similar between the 2 groups.

In contrast, researchers found that the rate of compliance with first treatment recommendations was 96% in the TSSCP arm vs 79% in the non-TSSCP group (P=.07). Furthermore, 88% of TSSCP patients and 73% of non-TSSCP patients were compliant with all follow-up visits (P=.31).

“Further study is needed to fully assess the role of nurse-navigated TSSCPs in improving treatment and surveillance compliance rates and how these rates impact clinical outcomes,” the authors note.


1. Manoukian C, Altamirano M, Ashing KT, et al. Do nurse-navigated TSSCPs improve treatment and follow up compliance in underserved populations? Poster presented at: 2016 Cancer Survivorship Symposium; January 15-16, 2016; San Francisco, CA. Abstract 72.

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