Patients' Post-Treatment Expectations

August 21, 2017
Lisa Schulmeister, RN, MN, APRN-BC, FAAN

Clinicians are aware of established guidelines for post-treatment surveillance and follow-up of people who have been treated for cancer. But what do patients expect?

Clinicians are aware of established guidelines for post-treatment surveillance and follow-up of people who have been treated for cancer. But what do patients expect?

Researchers in The Netherlands systematically searched the Pubmed, CINAHL, and PsychInfo databases to identify data and information about patients’ post-treatment expectations.

Their analysis of 12 full-text articles included 849 patients aged 28-90 years who had successfully been treated for cancer.

They found that these patients expected follow-up visits to detect cancer recurrence and many desire extensive testing for reassurance. In addition, patients expected relevant information and on-going psychosocial support. Consistency of care and continuity of care were also expectations.

One implication of this literature review is for clinicians to engage patients in post-treatment decision-making to determine their needs and expectations.

Researchers noted that healthcare providers need to ensure that follow-up routines are sustainable and effective, and that patients receive good information about the need for follow-up tests.

The review is available here.