Research Mentor(s): Lauren Wallner, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Internal Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 4 (2pm-2:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 10
Improvements in breast cancer screening and treatment have led to a positive but difficult complication – the healthcare system is suddenly faced with an overwhelming influx of survivors it has little experience in managing, and the lasting effects of the disease and its treatments make long-term follow-up care necessary. Socio demographic disparities and the exponentially growing number of survivors necessitate the involvement of both oncologists and primary-care physicians (PCPs) in survivorship care, and this adds further potential obstacles in the way of universal high-quality care for survivors. To better understand these disparities and the current reality of how survivorship care is delivered by oncologists and PCPs, we conducted a five-year follow up survey of 2500 women with a history of breast cancer in California and Georgia. PCP involvement in survivorship care was assessed, with an emphasis on discovering any disparities therein. Overall disparities in the quality of survivorship care based on socio demographic factors were also investigated. Lastly, we assessed whether increased PCP involvement in survivorship care led to an increase in the quality of survivorship care received. We hypothesized that oncologists would play a primary role in survivorship care with the PCPs role lacking consistency across the sample population. We also hypothesized that clear care-based disparities would exist across socio demographic lines and that greater PCP involvement would reduce these disparities. Assessing the current status of survivorship care will help reveal the system’s flaws in more detail, allowing for a focused approach on specific improvements moving forward.
Authors: Michael Regan, Sarah Hawley, Steven Katz, Ann Hamilton, Kevin Ward, Lauren Wallner
Research Method: Survey Research