Cancer survivors engage in cancer screenings and protective health behaviors at suboptimal rates despite their increased risk for future illness. Survivorship care plans and other educational strategies to prepare cancer survivors to adopt engaged roles in managing long-term follow-up care and health risks are needed. In a sample of cancer survivors, we identified patient characteristics and psychosocial predictors associated with increased follow-up care informational needs. Cross-sectional surveys were administered to early-stage breast and prostate survivors (N = 278; 68 % breast) at least 2 years post treatment from four community hospital programs in New Jersey between May 2012 and July 2013. Patient demographics, medical history, psychosocial characteristics (i.e., worries about the future, fear of disease recurrence, and patient activation), and perceptions of oncology and primary care were assessed. African-American survivors (AOR = 2.69, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.27–5.68) and survivors with higher comorbidity (AOR = 1.16, CI 1.01-1.33) were more likely to want additional information to guide follow-up care. Adjusting for race and comorbidities, survivors who wanted more information to guide their follow-up care reported greater worries about the future (p < 0.05) and fears about disease recurrence (p < 0.05) compared to those who did not want additional information. Results emphasize the need to develop cancer survivorship educational strategies that are both responsive to the needs of specific populations (e.g., African-American survivors and patients with multiple comorbidities) and the psychosocial profiles that motivate requests for more extensive follow-up guidance.
Follow-up Survivorship Breast cancer Prostate cancer Informational needs
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This research was supported through grants awarded to Dr. Hudson (K01 CA131500, R03 CA154063) and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (P30 CA06927) from the National Cancer Institute. Ms. O’Malley was supported by a Doctoral Training Grant in Oncology Social Work (DSW 13-279-01) from the American Cancer Society.
Conflict of Interest
None of the authors have any potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
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