Knowledge and self-efficacy for caring for breast and colon cancer survivors among safety net primary care providers

Niharika Dixit*, Nancy Burke, Gladys Rodriguez, Urmimala Sarkar, Barbara Cicerelli, Joanna Denise DeVore, Anna María Nápoles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Primary care providers (PCPs) are critical to the provision of comprehensive care for cancer survivors, yet there is very little data on the practices and quality of survivorship care occurring in safety net primary care settings. This study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of PCPs and preferences for care models for breast and colon cancer survivors in a safety net health network. Methods: A modified National Cancer Institute Survey of Physician Attitudes Regarding the Care of Cancer Survivors was sent electronically to 220 PCPs in 12 primary care clinics in the San Francisco Health Network affiliated with Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Results: The response rate was 50% (110/220). About half of PCPs strongly/somewhat agreed (vs. strongly/somewhat disagreed) that PCPs have the knowledge needed to provide follow-up care related to breast (50%) and colon cancer (54%). Most providers (93%) correctly reported recommended frequency of mammography, however, frequency of blood tests and other imaging surveillance were not as well recognized for breast or colon cancer. Recognition of long-term side effects of chemotherapy drugs ranged from 12% for oxaliplatin to 44% for doxorubicin. Only 33% of providers reported receiving any survivorship training. The most preferred model for survivorship care was shared care model (40%). Conclusions: Safety net PCPs prefer a shared care model for care of cancer survivors but are limited by lack of training, poor communication, and poor delineation of roles. Patient-centered survivorship care can be improved through effective oncologist-PCP-patient partnerships and coordination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4923-4931
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Cancer survivorship care
  • Primary care providers
  • Safety net
  • Shared care model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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