Vol 3-1 Mini Review

Do Breast Cancer Survivorship Care Plans Improve Health Outcomes?

Steven S. Coughlin1,2*, Lee Caplan3, Jessica Lynn Stewart4, Lufei Young5

1Department of Population Health Sciences, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA

2Research Service, Charlie Norwood Veterans Administration Medical Center, Augusta, GA

3Morehouse College of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Atlanta, GA

4College of Allied Health Sciences, Augusta University, Augusta, GA

5College of Nursing, Augusta University, Augusta, GA

Although they have been widely studied, important questions remain about the impact of breast cancer survivorship care plans on improving health outcomes. The goal of this article was to review published studies on the impact of cancer survivorship care plans on health outcomes and health care delivery among breast cancer survivors. A total of 111 article citations were identified in PubMed and non-duplicates in CINAHL. After screening the abstracts or full texts of these articles and reviewing the references of previous review articles, 7 studies met the eligibility criteria. All of the studies had a randomized controlled design. Early trials of the efficacy of breast cancer survivorship care plans generally showed little or no improvement in health outcomes. The positive findings of recent studies suggest that survivorship care interventions that empower and activate patients to self-manage their follow-up care and improve patient-provider communication may be especially promising.

Read More