Colorectal cancer survivors' needs and preferences for survivorship information

Talya Salz, Shrujal S. Baxi, Victoria S. Blinder, Elena B. Elkin, Margaret M. Kemeny, Mary S. McCabe, Chaya S. Moskowitz, Erin E. Onstad, Leonard B. Saltz, Larissa K.F. Temple, Kevin C. Oeffinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Before developing a survivorship care plan (SCP) that colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors will value, understanding the informational needs of CRC survivors is critical. Methods: We surveyed survivors treated for nonmetastatic CRC at two hospitals in New York about their needs and preferences for survivorship information. Participants completed treatment 6 to 24 months before the interview and had not received an SCP. We evaluated whether survivors knew their treatment history (10 topics), whether they understood ongoing risks (four topics), and their preferences for receiving 16 topics of survivorship information. Results: One hundred seventy-five survivors completed the survey. Most survivors remembered information about past treatment (98% to 99% for each treatment). Fewer survivors knew their risks of local recurrence, distant recurrence, or developing a new CRC (69%, 77%, and 40%, respectively). Most participants reported receiving information about their cancer history and ongoing oncology visits (77% to 86% across topics). Across all topics, 93% to 99% of those who reported receiving information found the information useful. A minority of survivors reported they received information about symptoms to report to doctors, returning to work, or financial or legal issues (5% to 48% across topics), but those who did found the information useful (89% to 100% across topics). Conclusions: In the absence of an SCP, CRC survivors still generally understood their cancer history. However, many lacked knowledge of ongoing risks and prevention. Most survivors stated that they found the survivorship information they received useful. SCPs for CRC survivors should focus less on past care and more on helping survivors understand their risks and plan for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e277-e282
JournalJournal of Oncology Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


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