A systematic review of patient perspectives on surveillance after colorectal cancer treatment

Julia R. Berian, Amanda Cuddy, Amanda B. Francescatti, Linda O’Dwyer, Y. Nancy You, Robert J. Volk, George J. Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: Surveillance after colorectal cancer (CRC) treatment is routine, but intensive follow-up may offer little-to-no overall survival benefit. Given the growing population of CRC survivors, we aimed to systematically evaluate the literature for the patient perspective on two questions: (1) How do CRC patients perceive routine surveillance following curative treatment and what do they expect to gain from their surveillance testing or visits? (2) Which providers (specialists, nursing, primary care) are preferred by CRC survivors to guide post-treatment surveillance? Methods: Systematic searches of PubMed MEDLINE, Embase, the CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were conducted. Studies were screened for inclusion by two reviewers, with discrepancies adjudicated by a third reviewer. Data were abstracted and evaluated utilizing validated reporting tools (CONSORT, STROBE, CASP) appropriate to study design. Results: Citations (3691) were screened, 91 full-text articles reviewed, and 23 studies included in the final review: 15 quantitative and 8 qualitative. Overall, 12 studies indicated CRC patients perceive routine surveillance positively, expecting to gain reassurance of continued disease suppression. Negative perceptions described in six studies included anxiety and dissatisfaction related to quality of life or psychosocial issues during follow-up. Although 5 studies supported specialist-led care, 9 studies indicated patient willingness to have follow-up with non-specialist providers (primary care or nursing). Conclusions: Patients’ perceptions of follow-up after CRC are predominantly positive, although unmet needs included psychosocial support and quality of life. Implications for Cancer Survivors:: Survivors perceived follow-up as reassuring, however, surveillance care should be more informative and focused on survivor-specific needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-552
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Colorectal cancer surveillance
  • Follow-up care
  • Patient-centered care
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of patient perspectives on surveillance after colorectal cancer treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this