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 August 27, 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 August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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