Survivorship care plan preferences of cancer survivors and health care providers: a systematic review and quality appraisal of the evidence

Dori L Klemanski, Kristine K Browning, Jennifer Kue
Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice 2016, 10 (1): 71-86

PURPOSE: The purpose of this systematic review was to describe and examine the current use of treatment summaries and survivorship care plans (TSs/SCPs) for cancer survivors, as well as to summarize and critically assess relevant literature regarding their preferences and usefulness. There is a knowledge gap regarding the preferences of stakeholders as to what is useful on a treatment summary or survivorship care plan.

METHODS: A systematic review of eligible manuscripts was conducted using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Relevant studies were identified via PubMed, CINAHL Plus, and the Cochrane Library from 2005 through 2013. Eligible studies were critically appraised with qualitative and quantitative appraisal tools.

RESULTS: There were 29 studies included in this review; 19 were quantitative. Survivors and primary care physicians preferred a printable format delivered 0 to 6 months posttreatment and highlighting signs and symptoms of recurrence, late, and long-term effects, and recommendations for healthy living. Oncology providers supported the concept of treatment summary and survivorship care plan but reported significant barriers to their provision. No studies incorporated caregiver perspectives of treatment summary and survivorship care plan.

CONCLUSION: This systematic review did not reveal conclusive evidence regarding the needs of survivors or providers regarding treatment summaries and survivorship care plans. A lack of rigorous studies contributed to this.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Treatment summaries and survivorship care plans are useful for cancer survivors; however, future rigorous studies should be conducted to identify and prioritize the preferences of survivors regarding these.

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