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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 were administered: one to 1,100 primary care physicians, and the other to 1,100 oncology specialists. The dual survey permits 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 addresses 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 survivors.

  • 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 also collected 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 SocietyExternal Web Site Policy. The survey was fielded in the Spring of 2009. Analysis of the data began in the Spring of 2010.

Publications are available. Additional manuscripts are in development and are forthcoming.

Obtain the Surveys

Copies of the SPARCCS Medical Oncologists Survey and Primary Care Physician Survey are available in PDF format. Request a copy from the ARP Web staff using our Web contact form.

Please acknowledge the National Cancer Institute/American Cancer Society Survey of Physician Attitudes Regarding the Care of Cancer Survivors (SPARCCS) if you use either or both of these survey instruments in your research.

Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014