Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 290–296 | Cite as

Survivorship Care Plans: Prevalence and Barriers to Use

  • Sarah A. Birken
  • Deborah K. Mayer
  • Bryan J. Weiner


Survivorship care plans (SCPs) are intended to educate survivors and providers about survivors’ transition from cancer treatment to follow-up care. Using a survey of 23 cancer programs in the South Atlantic United States, we (1) describe the prevalence and barriers to SCP use and (2) assess relationships between SCP use and (a) barriers and (b) cancer program characteristics. Most cancer programs (86 %) reported some SCP use; however, less than a quarter of cancer programs’ providers had ever used an SCP. The majority (61 %) began using SCPs because of professional societies’ recommendations. Key barriers to SCP use were insufficient organizational resources (75 %) and systems for SCP use. We found patterns in SCP use across location, program type, and professional society membership. Most cancer programs have adopted SCPs, but use remains inconsistent. Efforts to promote SCP use should address barriers, particularly in cancer programs that are susceptible to barriers to SCP use.


Survivorship care plan Survey Prevalence Barriers 



Sarah Birken and Deborah Mayer received financial support from the National Cancer Institute (grant number 5 R25 CA57726) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number 5U48DP001944-02), respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah A. Birken
    • 1
  • Deborah K. Mayer
    • 2
  • Bryan J. Weiner
    • 3
  1. 1.Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.School of NursingThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public HealthThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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