Developing national cancer survivorship standards to inform quality of care in the United States using a consensus approach

Michelle A. Mollica*, Gina McWhirter, Emily Tonorezos, Joshua Fenderson, David R. Freyer, Michael Jefford, Christopher J. Luevano, Timothy Mullett, Shelley Fuld Nasso, Ethan Schilling, Vida Almario Passero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To develop United States (US) standards for survivorship care that informs (1) essential health system policy and process components and (2) evaluation of the quality of survivorship care. Methods: The National Cancer Institute and the Department of Veterans Affairs led a review to identify indicators of quality cancer survivorship care in the domains of health system policy, process, and evaluation/assessment. A series of three virtual consensus meetings with survivorship care and research experts and advocates was conducted to rate the importance of the indicators and refine the top indicators. The final set of standards was developed, including ten indicators in each domain. Results: Prioritized items were survivor-focused, including processes to both assess and manage physical, psychological, and social issues, and evaluation of patient outcomes and experiences. Specific indicators focused on developing a business model for sustaining survivorship care and collecting relevant business metrics (e.g., healthcare utilization, downstream revenue) to show value of survivorship care to health systems. Conclusions: The National Standards for Cancer Survivorship Care can be used by health systems to guide development of new survivorship care programs or services or to assess alignment and enhance services in existing survivorship programs. Given the variety of settings providing care to survivors, it is necessary for health systems to adapt these standards based on factors including age-specific needs, cancer types, treatments received, and health system resources. Implications for Cancer Survivors: With over 18 million cancer survivors in the United States, many of whom experience varied symptoms and unmet needs, it is essential for health systems to have a comprehensive strategy to provide ongoing care. The US National Standards for Survivorship Care should serve as a blueprint for what survivors and their families can anticipate after a cancer diagnosis to address their needs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Care quality
  • Health system
  • Survivor
  • Survivorship

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