ASCO has issued a new template for health-care professionals to use when providing a survivorship care plan to patients who have completed curative cancer therapy. The survivorship care plan contains important information about treatment the patient received, the patient’s need for future checkups and cancer tests, the potential long-term late effects of treatment, and ideas for ways survivors can improve their health.
The new template, updating a previous version ASCO developed nearly a decade ago, was published in the Journal of Oncology Practice as part of an ASCO statement on the importance of—and minimum components for—survivorship care plans.
“This cleaner, simpler form will help health-care professionals get survivorship care plans into the hands of patients,” said Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, Chair of the ASCO Survivorship Care Plan Working Group and Professor in the School of Nursing and Director of Cancer Survivorship at University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. “At the end of their treatment, patients should expect to receive a survivorship care plan, but if they don’t get one, they should ask their doctor or nurse for one.”
Streamlined Care Plan
ASCO believes that all cancer survivors benefit from a survivorship care plan to assist survivors and their primary care provider in coordination of care. Based on feedback from ASCO members, the survivorship care plan template has been revised and streamlined. The new version focuses more on critical information, is easier for physicians and patients to use, and requires less time to complete.
The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has endorsed ASCO’s recommendations for the minimum elements included in the new template. These elements were defined through a consensus process involving multidisciplinary stakeholders including oncology providers, social workers, survivors, and primary care providers. The template was proven through an IRB-approved pilot test in 11 practices to be a time-saving and useful instrument.
View the template at www.asco.org/survivorship. ■
© 2014. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.