Wellness Beyond Cancer Program: Building an effective survivorship program

M. Rushton, R. Morash, G. Larocque, C. Liska, S. Stoica, C. Degrasse, R. Segal

Abstract


Background

The Wellness Beyond Cancer Program (wbcp) was launched in 2012, first accepting patients with colorectal cancer (crc) and, subsequently, those with breast cancer (bca), with the aim of standardizing and streamlining the discharge process from our cancer centre. Patients are discharged either to the wbcp nurse practitioner or to their primary care provider (pcp). The program incorporates survivorship care plans (scps) and education classes; it also has a rapid re-entry system in case of recurrence. The objective of this paper is to describe the process by which a cancer survivorship program was developed at our institution and to present preliminary evaluation results.

Methods

Qualitative surveys were mailed to patients and pcps 1 year after patients had been referred to the wbcp. The surveys addressed knowledge of the program content, satisfaction on the part of patients and providers, and whether scp recommendations were followed. Questions were scored on the level of agreement with each of a list of statements (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree).

Results

From March 2012 to November 2014, 2630 patients were referred to the wbcp (809 with crc, 1821 with bca). Surveys were received from 289 patients and 412 pcps. Patients and pcps gave similar scores (average: 4) to statements about satisfaction; pcps gave scores below 4 to statements about communication with the wbcp.

Conclusions

At 1 year after discharge, patients and pcps were satisfied with program content, but there is an opportunity to improve on communication and provision of cancer-specific information to the pcps. Using the wbcp to ensure a safe transition to the most appropriate health care provider, we have standardized the discharge process for crc and bca patients.


Keywords


Survivorship programs; breast cancer; colorectal cancer

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2786






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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)