Survivorship in Colorectal Cancer: A Cohort Study of the Patterns and Documented Content of Follow-Up Visits
AuthorGarwood, V; Lisy, K; Jefford, M
Source TitleJournal of Clinical Medicine
AffiliationSir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGarwood, V., Lisy, K. & Jefford, M. (2020). Survivorship in Colorectal Cancer: A Cohort Study of the Patterns and Documented Content of Follow-Up Visits. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE, 9 (9), https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092725.
Access StatusOpen Access
Survivors of colorectal cancer (CRC) may experience a range of physical, psychosocial, and practical challenges as a consequence of their diagnosis. We assessed the patterns and documented content of follow-up visits within the first three years following treatment, in comparison to survivorship care guidelines. Survivors with stage I-III CRC who underwent curative resection at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre from July 2015 to January 2018 were followed for up to 1080 days. Patterns of follow-up were calculated by recording the date and specialty of each visit; documented content was assessed using a study-specific audit tool for the first year (360 days) of follow-up. Forty-eight survivors comprised the study population, 34 of whom (71%) attended the recommended two to four follow-up visits in their first year. Visit notes documented new symptoms (96%), physical changes (85%), physical examination (63%), and investigations (56%-90%); none had documented discussions of screening for other primary cancers, or regular health checks and/or screening. Each survivor had at least one outpatient letter that was sent to their primary care physician, but responsibilities were not adequately defined (31%). Although survivors had regular follow-up in their first year, documentation did not consistently address aspects of wider survivorship care.
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