We fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer
Defining Survivorship Care: Lessons Learned from the LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network: A LIVESTRONG Report
The LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network (Network) was established in 2005 to advance survivorship care and improve the health and quality of life of post-treatment cancer survivors. Over the course of the last five years, Network members have expanded knowledge of the field of survivorship, pioneered new interventions for cancer survivors and developed, evaluated and disseminated survivorship best practices to national and international audiences, including best strategies for—and challenges to—instituting a survivorship care program . By assessing and analyzing diverse practice patterns, the Network has uncovered four key findings: 1) Creating a “cultural shift” in the delivery of care to survivors is a major challenge but necessary for successful provision of survivorship services; 2) Garnering support from diverse institutional leaders is essential to successful integration of survivorship care; 3) Forging community connections is crucial to reaching underserved populations; and 4) Delineating the essential elements of care—rather than setting forth one specific care model—best ensures quality of care for survivors across diverse service delivery systems.
Utilizing the knowledge collected to date, along with insights from a deductive qualitative study of the collaboration, the Network is poised to continue moving the field of cancer survivorship care forward by focusing on three target areas:
- Standardization of metrics in survivorship
- Identification and dissemination of the essential elements of care delivery in survivorship
- Advocating for change within oncology practice, insurance and reimbursement mechanisms and funding mechanisms for care and cancer centers
By incorporating survivorship into the continuum of cancer care, the Network is changing the culture of oncology practice and providing visibility and leadership for the survivorship community at large. This report summarizes the contributions of the Network to date; provides information about the eight centers; offers insight from a qualitative deductive study conducted on the Network; and proposes next steps for accomplishing the goals set forth by the Network five years ago.