Implementation of a survivorship care plan program in a community-based oncology clinic

Project Background

There is conflicting evidence from the small number of randomized control trials (RCTs) which assessed the benefit of survivorship care plans (SCPs) on improving patient outcomes. Yet, published quasi-experimental and descriptive studies provide preliminary evidence suggesting that utilizing survivorship care plans in practice may improve patient knowledge, decrease worry and anxiety, and lead to patient and primary care physician satisfaction. Given the conflicting evidence, and the paucity of RCTs, further research is needed to more fully explore the effect of SCP implementation on patient outcomes. 

Project Purpose

To address this knowledge gap, a SCP program was implemented in a community-based oncology clinic, and used quality improvement methodology to assess the effect on patient knowledge of diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up, and to understand patients' satisfaction with the current SCP program. 

Project Methods

A total of 30 cancer patients were recruited in Southeast Michigan to participate in a SCP quality improvement project and completed surveys to evaluate the care plan program. Data were collected between December 2017 and March 2018. 

Project Outcomes

We observed a statistically significant (p = .028) difference between pre- and post-intervention (survivorship care plan visit) knowledge scores about cancer diagnosis, treatment received, and follow-up recommendations. Moreover, participants were satisfied with the survivorship care plan and visit.

Project Implications

Cancer survivors often feel unprepared at the completion of active treatment and look to advanced practitioners for guidance in transitioning to survivorship. It is imperative that advanced practitioners understand the importance of guiding patients at this crucial point in time and ensure that they are incorporating the current best practice in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up, and effectively communicating evidence-based guidelines. A SCP may be used as an educational tool to help facilitate this communication to cancer survivors. Effective communication between the oncology provider and patient, and between the oncology provider and primary care provider, may lead to earlier diagnosis of recurrence and better management of late treatment related side effects. 


Stephanie Soulia

Graduation Date

April, 2018


Survivorship Care Plan (SCP)
Principal Investigator (PI)
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Physician Assistant (PI)