Transition to survivorship: can there be improvement?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The transition from primary cancer treatment to posttreatment follow-up care is seen as critical to the long-term health of survivors. However, relatively little attention has been paid to understanding this pivotal period. This review will offer a brief outline of the significant work surrounding this pivotal time published in the past year.

Recent findings

The growing number of cancer survivors has stimulated an emphasis on finding new models of care, whereby responsibility for survivorship follow-up is transitioned to primary care providers. A variety of models and tools have emerged for follow-up care. Survivorship care plans are heralded as a key component of survivorship care and a vehicle for supporting transition. Uptake of survivorship care plans and implementation of evidence-based models of survivorship care has been slow, hindered by a range of barriers.

Summary

Evaluation is needed regarding survivorship models in terms of feasibility, survivor friendliness, cost effectiveness, and achievement of sustainable outcomes. How, and when, to introduce plans for transition to the patient and determine transition readiness are important considerations but need to be informed by evidence. Additional study is needed to identify best practice for the introduction and application of survivorship care plans.

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