The following article features coverage from the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2019 meeting. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

CHICAGO — Researchers from the Lifespan Cancer Institute in Providence, Rhode Island, found that survivorship care for patients with cancer varies according to cancer type, with patients with gynecologic and gastrointestinal cancers having the highest utilization. Patients who are seen in accordance with their survivorship care plans (SCPs) receive more referrals to additional resources and services, and most who received referrals followed up. These findings were presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

Among those included in the retrospective review, the median patient age was 62 (range, 29-90) and the majority of patients were female (74.8%). Furthermore, 39.5% of patients included were married or partnered. Patients studied had breast cancer (52.2%), lung cancer (16.6%), and prostate cancer (6%). Nearly half (49.5%) of patients reported severe distress with a score of 4 or more after being screened using the National Comprehensive Distress Thermometer; reasons for distress included worry (54.3%), nervousness (46.6%) and fatigue (37.3%).

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Four hundred sixty-one patients were given a survivorship care plan, 267 of those patients (57.9%) completed a follow up survivorship care visit. The rate of referrals to psychological counseling, physical therapy, and nutrition improved significantly in patients who attended their survivorship care visit (P <.005). Furthermore, although most patients followed up on their referrals, the rate of follow up was higher in patients who attended a survivorship care visit (95.4% vs 87%, P =.015).

Due to the Commission on Cancer requirement for the inclusion of survivorship care plans in order to receive cancer program accreditation, the researchers sought to better understand whether and how patients most benefit from their survivorship care plan.

“On multivariate analysis, gender, marital status, and stage were significantly associated with the receipt of an SCP,” the authors wrote. “However, only disease site was significantly associated with being seen in a survivorship care visit.”

Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original abstract for a full list of disclosures.

Reference

Saiganesh H, Duffy CM, Higel-Mcgovern C, et al. After cancer, what’s more important? The survivorship care plan or the survivorship care visit? Poster presentation at: 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting; May 31 to June 4, 2019; Chicago, IL. Abstract 11618.