Quality of Posttreatment Care Among Breast Cancer Survivors in the University of California Athena Breast Health Network (Athena)

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Abstract

Introduction:

Multiple oncology providers are involved in the initial breast cancer treatment. To better understand the patterns and quality of posttreatment breast cancer care, we surveyed patients who had been treated at each of the 5 University of California (UC) cancer centers.

Patients and Methods:

We identified breast cancer patients diagnosed in 2008–2009 from hospital tumor registries; invitations for the mailed survey on posttreatment care were sent between September 2011 and November 2012. The survey requested information on the number and type of provider visits, discussion of key topics, use of treatment summaries, and survivorship care plans (SCP).

Results:

A total of 329 patients completed the survey. The mean age of respondents was 60.5 years, and they were 3.2 years since diagnosis (range, 1.6–4.8 years). A total of 82% had continued posttreatment care at a UC facility, and they reported high numbers of clinical follow-up visits, with an average of > 2 providers (range, 1–5). Surgery-only patients reported an average of 4 to 5 office visits a year; patients who received surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy reported 5 to 6 office visits a year. Overall, 45% of women reported receiving a treatment summary; receipt of a SCP was reported by 59%, occurring significantly more often among those in follow-up at a UC (P = .004).

Conclusion:

Patients reported visits to multiple providers during their follow-up care, in excess of what is recommended by current guidelines. This was in spite of many women reporting that they had received a SCP.

Micro-Abstract:

Little is known about the patterns of care for breast cancer survivors after primary treatment has been completed. This survey study of breast cancer survivors treated in 5 California cancer centers revealed frequent follow-up visits with multiple breast cancer specialists that exceeded guideline recommendations. Only 59% reported receiving survivorship care plans.

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