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Original Article
Dec 2012

Survivorship Care Plans for Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, The Medical College of Wisconsin (Drs Campbell and Massey), and Froedtert Health (Ms Myers), Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(12):1116-1119. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.683

Objective To determine the perceived value of survivorship care plans (SCPs) (cancer treatment summaries and follow-up recommendations).

Design Survey of patients and their physicians between 3 and 4 years after receipt of the SCP.

Setting Ambulatory, tertiary care medical center.

Patients A convenience sample of head and neck cancer survivors living 3 years after each had been mailed a personal SCP shortly after completion of cancer treatment. Twenty survivors were contacted, and all agreed to participate.

Interventions Institutional review board–approved, scripted telephone survey to determine whether patients and their primary care physicians still had their SCPs and found them useful.

Main Outcome Measures Survey responses.

Results Only 2 of 20 survivors and 11 of 21 physicians or dentists were able to locate or remember having received the SCPs 3 years later. Eighteen of 20 survivors were unsure of the value of SCPs.

Conclusions Despite a widely held belief that patients benefit from receiving SCPs, our initial attempt found little awareness of these documents by either the head and neck cancer survivors or their primary care physicians.