Outcomes of cancer survivorship education and training for primary care providers: a systematic review

This systematic review aimed to identify literature regarding cancer survivorship education programs for primary care providers (PCPs) and assess their outcomes. Twenty-one studies were included, describing a considerable variety of programs from self-directed online courses to an online webinar series. Eight studies described the use of a learner framework or theory to guide program development. All 21 programs were generally beneficial to PCP learners (through increased confidence, knowledge, behaviour change); however due to methodological bias, caution must be used when interpreting these claims. Three studies also reported positive outcomes at the patient level (i.e., satisfaction with care) and organisational level (i.e., increased screening referrals, changes to institution practice standards).  A range of cancer survivorship PCP education programs exist, however evidence for clinical effectiveness was rarely reported. Future educational programs must be tailored to PCPs, adopt an evidence-based survivorship framework, and evaluate patient- and system-level outcomes. PCPs have a critical role in addressing the diverse health care needs of cancer survivors, and improving the content, approach, and evaluation of PCP-focused cancer survivorship education programs could have a positive impact on health outcomes among cancer survivors.

Read full text