People are living longer after cancer treatment, prompting the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and others to recommend survivorship care plans (SCPs) to ensure appropriate, coordinated follow-up care and improve quality of life. While many institutions do not use SCPs, one large local breast cancer clinical partner is beginning to implement them and is pursuing accreditation. There are, however, multiple SCP models, and their efficacy is still uncertain. The literature shows a lack of consensus on the format, content, and who should develop the SCPs.
To date, the limited evidence shows increased understanding of post treatment plans and high satisfaction among survivors with SCPs. However, in our community, younger women report that many needs are not met, and most survivors are greatly concerned about recurrence. Given the amount of time required to develop SCPs, we want to ensure that they are truly useful to local breast cancer patients, including the relatively large Latina population. We propose convening patient representatives to compare models and to determine our communities’ priorities and concerns to eventually inform SCP practices.
We will work with our advisory group and partners to identify key breast cancer patient navigators, support group leaders, and diverse patients. This new collaborative group will be convened within two months to build community, review and discuss SCP models, identify priority issues, determine communication strategies and a governance structure, and explore research plan development. Two additional meetings will refine research questions and further develop our collaboration. We will also approach a Latina SCP researcher and clinicians pursuing SCP implementation in two systems.