Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer Survivors, Caregivers Benefit From Online Survivorship Care Plan, Survey Shows

Date:
April 19, 2009
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
An online tool that provides cancer survivors and their family members with an easy-to-follow roadmap for managing their health as they finish treatment and transition to life as a survivor got high marks from users, according to new research.

An online tool that provides cancer survivors and their family members with an easy-to-follow roadmap for managing their health as they finish treatment and transition to life as a survivor got high marks from users, according to new University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine research which will be presented this weekend at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver.

Ninety-seven percent of people who used OncoLife, the first online cancer survivorship care plan tool – developed by physicians and nurses from Penn's Abramson Cancer Center – rated their experience with the tool as "good" to "excellent," and 84 percent said they planned to share their plan with their health care team.

The findings reveal that OncoLife can serve as one way to fulfill the Institute of Medicine's recommendation that the 12 million cancer survivors across the United States use plans like these to become knowledgeable about the potential late effects and learn about the specialized follow-up care they'll need following their disease.

"This tool empowers patients to open important dialogue with their healthcare providers to better understand the effects of their cancer treatment," says James Metz, MD, an associate professor of Radiation Oncology who serves as editor-in-chief of OncoLink and the department's Chief of Clinical Operations. "Because this tool is Internet based, cancer survivors and healthcare providers now have an easy and reliable way to obtain information regarding survivorship care issues instantaneously."

Penn researchers surveyed 3,343 individuals who created OncoLife care plans during an 18-month period in 2007 and 2008. In addition to cancer survivors, who made up 62 percent of the OncoLife users, health care providers and family or friends of survivors also created care plans on the site. In a survey of the survivors who made OncoLife plans -- whose diagnoses included more than 34 different cac c ncers – 97 percent reported finding the information on the site to be helpful.

The researchers say the high number of users who said they planned to share their care plans with their health care providers is encouraging. Since many patients rely on their primary care physicians to deliver this multidisciplinary "survivorship care" after they're released from treatment with oncologists, communication is essential to helping patients get the care they need. Previous Penn research has shown that breast cancer survivors – the nation's largest group of cancer survivors – give low marks to their primary care doctors' knowledge of late effects of cancer therapies and ways to manage symptoms related to their disease or its treatment. In the new Penn study of OncoLife users, just 13 percent said they had received survivorship information in the past.

OncoLife care plans are available in both English and Spanish through OncoLink (http://www.oncolink.org), the Internet's first multimedia cancer information resource, which receives 385,000 unique visitors each month. By inputting information about the type of chemotherapy agents patients received, location of radiation therapies and/or types of surgical procedures they had, patients, family members and their doctors or nurses can create an easy-to-understand, personalized survivorship plan. Among topics addressed in the plans are potential late effects of treatments, ways to reduce risk of and monitor for these effects, and recommendations for future cancer screening. The plans also offer guidance on issues like sexuality, fertility, and genetic risk.

"Putting survivorship care plans in the hands of patients allows them to become educated about their risk, have well-informed discussions with their healthcare teams and be advocates for their own care," says OncoLink nurse educator Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN, a member of the research team.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Cancer Survivors, Caregivers Benefit From Online Survivorship Care Plan, Survey Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419170034.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2009, April 19). Cancer Survivors, Caregivers Benefit From Online Survivorship Care Plan, Survey Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419170034.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Cancer Survivors, Caregivers Benefit From Online Survivorship Care Plan, Survey Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419170034.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins