BackgroundSurvivorship care plans (SCPs), including a treatment summary and follow-up plan, intend to promote coordination of posttreatment cancer care; yet, little is known about the provision of these documents by oncologists to primary care physicians (PCPs). This study compared self-reported oncologist provision and PCP receipt of treatment summaries and follow-up plans, characterized oncologists who reported consistent provision of these documents to PCPs, and examined associations between PCP receipt of these documents and survivorship care.
MethodsA nationally representative sample of medical oncologists (n = 1130) and PCPs (n = 1020) were surveyed regarding follow-up care for breast and colon cancer survivors. All statistical tests were two-sided. Multivariable regression models identified factors associated with oncologist provision of treatment summaries and SCPs to PCPs (always/almost always vs less frequent).
ResultsNearly half of oncologists reported always/almost always providing treatment summaries, whereas 20.2% reported always/almost always providing SCPs (treatment summary + follow-up plan). Approximately one-third of PCPs indicated always/almost always receiving treatment summaries; 13.4% reported always/almost always receiving SCPs. Oncologists who reported training in late- and long-term effects of cancer and use of electronic medical records were more likely to report SCP provision (P < .05). PCP receipt of SCPs was associated with better PCP-reported care coordination, physician-physician communication, and confidence in survivorship care knowledge compared to receipt of neither treatment summaries nor SCPs (P < .05).
ConclusionsProviding SCPs to PCPs may enhance survivorship care coordination, physician-physician communication, and PCP confidence. However, considerable progress will be necessary to achieve implementation of sharing SCPs among oncologists and PCPs.