Survey of Physician Attitudes Regarding the Care of Cancer Survivors (SPARCCS)
The overall purpose of the Survey of Physician Attitudes Regarding the Care of Cancer
Survivors (SPARCCS) is to identify perceptions, knowledge, and practices of primary care
and oncology specialist physicians regarding post-treatment follow-up care of adult cancer
survivors. This national survey will provide information that is not available from other
sources, and will lead to identification of opportunities for improving care delivery
experiences for both cancer survivors and their physicians.
To achieve this purpose, two distinct survey instruments will be administered: one to
1,100 primary care physicians, and the other to 1,100 oncology specialists. The dual
survey will permit comparisons of the perceived roles, knowledge, and practices of these two
key provider groups with regard to follow-up survivorship care. Such care involves
monitoring patients for recurrence/progression and second cancers, and managing medical
and psychosocial late effects.
The hypotheses that this survey will address relate to three potential barriers to the
optimal care of cancer survivors: lack of physician knowledge, unwarranted physician
practice variation, and disagreement or lack of clarity among PCPs and oncology
specialists regarding their respective roles and responsibilities in the care of cancer
- Hypothesis 1: Physician knowledge regarding the health needs and optimal care of
cancer survivors is low.
- Hypothesis 2: Physician practices with respect to monitoring for cancer recurrence
and managing long-term and late effects are variable and diverge from clinical practice
guidelines or available best evidence.
- Hypothesis 3: Disagreement or lack of clarity exists among PCPs and oncology
specialists regarding their perceived roles and responsibilities, vis a vis one another,
in the follow-up care of cancer survivors.
The survey will also collect data to explore and identify physician- and practice-level
factors associated with physician knowledge, practices, and perceptions.
The survey involves collaboration among the Applied Research Program, Office of Cancer Survivorship, and the American Cancer Society. It is scheduled to be fielded
in Fall 2008 or Winter 2009.