• Article

Cancer plan index: A measure for assessing the quality of cancer plans

OBJECTIVE: : To (1) conduct an in-depth assessment of the content of comprehensive cancer control plans and (2) obtain data that can be used to provide guidance to grantees supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) as they refine their plans, and to other health professionals as similar planning is done. DESIGN: : Through an iterative development process, a workgroup of subject matter experts from NCCCP and Research Triangle Institute International (RTI International) identified 11 core or essential components that should be considered in cancer plans on the basis of their professional experience and expertise. They also developed a tool, the Cancer Plan Index (CPI), to assess the extent to which cancer plans addressed the 11 core components. SETTING: : Sixty-five comprehensive cancer control programs in states, tribes, territories, and jurisdictions funded by the NCCCP. DATA SOURCE: : Raters reviewed and abstracted all available cancer plans (n = 66), which included plans from 62 funded programs and 4 states of the Federated States of Micronesia funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a subcontractor of one funded program. Of the 66 plans, 3 plans were used to pilot test the CPI and the remaining 63 plans were subsequently reviewed and abstracted. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): : The primary outcome measures are national-level component scores for 11 defined domains (global involvement of stakeholders, developing the plan, presentation of data on disease burden, goals, objectives, strategies, reduction of cancer disparities, implementation, funds for implementation of plan, evaluation, usability of plan), which represent an average of the component scores across all available cancer plans. RESULTS: : To aid in the interpretation and usability of findings, the components were segmented into 3 tiers, representing a range high (average score = 2.01-4.00), moderate (average score = 1.01-2.00), and low (average score = 0-1.00) levels of description of the component. Programs overall provided relatively comprehensive descriptions of goals, objectives, and strategies; moderate description of the plan development process, presentation of data on disease burden, and plans on the reduction of cancer disparities; and little to no description of stakeholder involvement plans for implementation, funds for implementation, and evaluation of the plan. CONCLUSIONS: : Areas of the CPI with low average component scores should stimulate technical assistance to the funded programs, either to increase program activities or to increase discussion of key activities in the plan


Rochester, P., Adams, E., Porterfield, D., Holden, D., McAleer, K., & Steele, CB. (2011). Cancer plan index: A measure for assessing the quality of cancer plans. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 17(6), E12-E17.