Communicating Critical Information to Cancer Survivors: an Assessment of Survivorship Care Plans in Use in Diverse Healthcare Settings

Helena C. Lyson, David Haggstrom, Michael Bentz, Samilia Obeng-Gyasi, Niharika Dixit, Urmimala Sarkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Survivorship care plans (SCPs) serve to communicate critical information needed for cancer survivors’ long-term follow-up care. The extent to which SCPs are tailored to meet the specific needs of underserved patient populations is understudied. To fill this gap, this study aimed to assess the content and communication appropriateness of SCPs collected from diverse healthcare settings. We analyzed collected SCPs (n = 16) for concordance with Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations for SCP content and for communication appropriateness using the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) instrument. All plans failed to incorporate all IOM criteria, with the majority of plans (n = 11) incorporating less than 60% of recommended content. The average reading grade level of all the plans was 14, and only one plan received a superior rating for cultural appropriateness. There is significant variation in the format and content of SCPs used in diverse hospital settings and most plans are not written at an appropriate reading grade level nor tailored for underserved and/or minority patient populations. Co-designing SCPs with diverse patient populations is crucial to ensure that these documents are meeting the needs and preferences of all cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Cancer survivorship
  • Content analysis
  • Health communication
  • Patient education
  • Survivorship care plans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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