Primary care providers as partners in long-term follow-up of pediatric cancer survivors
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- Cite this article as:
- Meacham, L.R., Edwards, P.J., Cherven, B.O. et al. J Cancer Surviv (2012) 6: 270. doi:10.1007/s11764-012-0224-z
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To develop a model of shared healthcare delivery that includes primary care providers (PCP) and ensures best practice in follow-up of pediatric cancer survivors.
Structured interviews with healthcare professionals (HCPs) were used to ascertain familiarity and confidence in providing care to survivors. Partnerships were made with HCP societies, and survivor care lectures were given at HCP meetings. HCP’s preferences for ongoing continuing education (CE) opportunities were ascertained. Cancer SurvivorLinkTM, a web-based tool, was developed to allow patients to securely store their healthcare documents and share them electronically with registered HCPs. Educational material developed for Cancer SurvivorLinkTM includes CE modules and QuickFacts—concise summaries of late effects. Website utilization was monitored utilizing Google Analytics.
HCPs described moderate to very low familiarity with survivor care, but high interest in online CE learning. Thirty-one lectures were given to HCP groups to increase awareness. Preferred types of ongoing CE were: lectures, online text, and video modules. CE material was developed based on feedback from HCPs and website utilizations and includes 19 QuickFacts and 5 CE modules. During the first year, the website had 471 unique visitors and 1,129 total visits. QuickFacts received 345 views with Neurocognitive, Survivor Care 101, and Endocrine being most visited, and 49 CME modules have been completed.
PCPs are interested in partnering in models of shared care for pediatric cancer survivors. Effective educational initiatives include lectures within HCP’s professional education constructs and web-based CE opportunities. PCP involvement in survivor care alleviates some barriers to care such as geographic distance to the the cancer center and ensures that more pediatric cancer survivors receive recommended coordinated surveillance for late effects of cancer therapy.