Empowering cancer survivors to meet their physical and psychosocial needs: An implementation evaluation

Carrie Liska, Robin Morash, Lise Paquet, Dawn Stacey


Our Wellness Beyond Cancer Survivorship Program was established and evaluated as a quality improvement project. Individualized survivorship care plans for survivors and primary care providers included cancer surveillance recommendations and survivors’ self-reported physical and psychosocial needs. At the discharge visit, an oncology nurse reviewed the care plan and symptom management strategies with survivors. We assessed the physical and psychosocial needs and feelings of empowerment of 70 breast and 53 colorectal cancer survivors on entry into the program and one year after discharge to primary care. Survivors were months to 10 or more years since the end of active treatment, with colorectal cancer survivors referred sooner (average 1.2 years). At baseline, colorectal cancer survivors reported little concern about their needs (scores <1.0 out of 5.0) and breast cancer survivors reported some concern about sleep disturbances, weight changes, memory/concentration changes, and fear of recurrence (scores 1.0 to 1.5 out of 5.0). All survivors reported feeling empowered (>3.0 out of 4.0). Needs and empowerment levels were mostly unchanged one year later. Colorectal cancer survivors showed a statistically significantly increased fear of recurrence at one year. In summary, cancer survivors with a survivorship care plan continued to feel empowered one year following discharge.

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