Implementing a Survivorship Care Plan for Patients With Breast Cancer

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Abstract

The growing number of cancer survivors challenges healthcare organizations to develop programs that support survivors' transition from active treatments to survivorship care. Many individuals and families continue to face complicated care issues resulting from cancer diagnosis and side effects long after completion of their treatments. This article describes a model of a survivorship care plan, Cancer Treatment Summary and Follow-Up Care Plan, piloted in an outpatient clinical setting in a community hospital for patients with breast cancer. The plan can be expanded to include other cancer types. The intent of the survivorship care plan is to strengthen the care connections and coordination of services for survivors of breast cancer to ensure that continuing care needs are met during the survivorship phase of the cancer trajectory. The survivorship care plan is a unique opportunity for oncology nurses to be catalysts for the interdisciplinary interactions that are required to develop survivorship care plans and to implement a change in oncology nursing practice. The intervention shifts the paradigm of cancer survivorship care from an acute care medical model to a wellness model for cancer survivors in the clinical setting.

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