Adherence to quality breast cancer survivorship care in four Canadian provinces: a CanIMPACT retrospective cohort study

Cancer survivors are at risk for late and ongoing health problems. These include cancer recurrence, second cancers, and physical and cognitive late effects of treatment. To optimize cancer survivors’ health and quality of life, it is critical to deliver comprehensive and appropriate post-treatment care. However, adherence to quality follow-up care can vary and may not always be optimal.

This retrospective cohort study determined and compared the proportion of breast cancer survivors who received adherent and non-adherent surveillance, recommended preventative care, and physician visits, across four Canadian provinces over the course of 1-5 years post treatment. The quality of follow-up care was shown to vary among provinces, with preventative care shown to be less than optimal in all provinces with available data. This variation suggests that there may be both overuse and gaps in care at different points in the system, which could indicate opportunities to improve follow-up care of breast cancer survivors by primary care providers.

This study was carried out as part of the CanIMPACT (Canadian Team to Improve Community-Based Cancer Care along the Continuum) project. CanIMPACT is a multi-disciplinary team aimed at improving integration and coordination of care by identifying gaps in care along the breast cancer care trajectory, from diagnosis to survivorship.

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