Utility of survivorship care plans: A mixed-method study exploring general practitioners’ and cancer specialists’ views

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Tan, Sim Yee
Dhillon, Haryana M
Mak, Channel
Liang, Roger
Kerin-Ayres, Kim
Vuong, Kylie
Malalasekera, Ashanya
Vardy, Janette L
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Purpose Survivorship care plans (SCP) are recommended as integral to survivorship care but are not routinely provided in many centers. We explore whether SCP from the Sydney Cancer Survivorship Centre (SCSC) clinic was received by general practitioners (GP) and cancer specialists, and their views on SCP.

Methods A mixed-method study comprising a quality assurance audit, a questionnaire of GP practices and GP, and semi-structured interviews of cancer specialists who referred patients to the SCSC clinic between 2019–2020. Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data and content analysis for qualitative data.

Results The audit found 153/190 (80.5%) SCSC attendees had SCP uploaded to hospital medical records. The response rate from GP practices was 41%; among the 55 responding practices, 38 (69%) did not receive the SCP. The response rate from GP was 19%; among the 29 responding GP, 25 (86%) indicated the SCP was worthwhile, especially follow-up plans and multidisciplinary team recommendations. Analysis of 14 cancer specialist interviews identified themes of 1) awareness of SCP; 2) access: SCP difficult to locate; 3) process: access and distribution require improvement; 4) systemic issues; 5) content and layout: more concise and better readability required; 6) value: mainly for GP and survivors; 7) use of SCP: limited; 8) recommendations: improve delivery process, enhance layout/content, more stakeholder input, more tailored information.

Conclusion Although response rates from GP were low, those responding perceived SCP to be useful. Cancer specialists believed SCP were more valuable for GP and survivors. Process issues, especially SCP delivery, need to be improved.

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Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology

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© 2023 The Authors. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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This publication has been entered in Griffith Research Online as an advanced online version.

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Tan, SY; Dhillon, HM; Mak, C; Liang, R; Kerin-Ayres, K; Vuong, K; Malalasekera, A; Vardy, JL, Utility of survivorship care plans: A mixed-method study exploring general practitioners’ and cancer specialists’ views, Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2023