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A comprehensive framework and key guideline recommendations for the provision of evidence-based breast cancer survivorship care within the primary care setting

24 Mar 2015

Background.

Breast cancer survivors continue to experience physical and psychosocial health care needs post-treatment. Primary care involvement is increasing as cancer centres move forward with earlier discharge of stable breast cancer survivors to primary care follow-up. Research suggests primary care providers (PCPs) are willing to provide survivorship care but many lack knowledge and confidence to provide evidence-based care. Although clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) exist for follow-up surveillance and certain aspects of survivorship care, no single comprehensive guideline addresses all significant breast cancer survivorship issues encountered in primary care.

Purpose.

The purpose of this research was to create a comprehensive clinical practice framework to guide the provision of breast cancer survivorship care in primary care settings.

Methods.

This study consisted of an extensive search, appraisal and synthesis of CPGs for post-treatment breast cancer care using a modified Delphi method. Breast cancer survivorship issues and relevant CPGs were mapped to four essential components of survivorship care to create a comprehensive clinical practice framework to guide provision of breast cancer survivorship care.

Results.

The completed framework consists of a one-page checklist outlining breast cancer survivorship issues relevant to primary care, a three-page summary of key recommendations and a one-page list of guideline sources. The framework and key guideline recommendations were verified by a panel of experts for comprehensiveness, importance and relevance to primary care.

Conclusions.

This framework may serve as a tool to remind PCPs about issues impacting breast cancer survivors, as well as the evidence-based recommendations and resources to provide the associated care.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Family Practice