Cancer Survivorship Care Plans: Processes, Effective Strategies, and Challenges in a Northern Plains Rural State

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Objectives: Health systems face resource and time barriers to developing and implementing cancer survivorship care plans (SCPs) when active cancer treatment is completed. To address this problem, the South Dakota (SD) Department of Health partnered with two of SD’s largest health systems to create the SD Survivorship Program. The purpose of this program evaluation study was to describe and compare SCP development and implementation at the two health systems.
Design & Sample:
A descriptive qualitative design was used. Interview participants were instrumental in the development and implementation of SCPs within their respective health system.
Measures:Content analysis was used to analyze the interview data.
Results: The two health systems used similar processes for (a) early designation of program personnel, (b) developing SCP templates, (c) provider/staff input, and (d) identifying/tracking eligible patients. In contrast, they developed differing processes for SCP completion and delivery. The two health systems also identified effective strategies and challenges in SCP development and implementation.
Conclusion: This evaluation suggests that partnerships between state health departments and local health systems could be key for meeting the nation-wide goal of universal SCP implementation. Particularly, other low-population rural states like SD can use the findings to help build their SCP programs.

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Public Health Nursing

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