Older cancer survivors who have lower levels of education, are uninsured, or are widowed, divorced, or separated are less likely to receive survivorship care plans (SCPs), researchers found. They reported the results of their study in Supportive Care in Cancer.

Researchers analyzed records of 7,061 adult cancer survivors who were eligible for an SCP in the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System’s Survivorship modules. They evaluated the relationship between several social determinants of health and receipt of an SCP.

The results showed that only 32.4% of patients with less than a high school degree and 37.5% with a high school degree or some college received an SCP, compared to 43.3% of those with college degrees. Similarly, just 32.7% of those who were widowed, divorced, or separated received one, comparted to 40.8% of those who were married or cohabitating and 46.0% who were unmarried. Only 26% of uninsured patients were given SCPs. Patients older than 65 were also less likely to receive care plans than younger patients, but the researchers found no differences associated with sex or race.

“Future studies should evaluate how omission of SCPs in these patients influences the quality of care during the transition from oncologists to primary care,” the authors concluded.

To find nursing considerations and sample SCPs for a variety of the most common cancers, visit the ONS Voice survivorship care plans topic tag.