OBJECTIVE: Little is known about factors affecting medical care experiences of cancer survivors. This study examined experience of care among cancer survivors and assessed associations of survivors' characteristics with their experience.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used a newly-developed, unique data resource, SEER-CAHPS (NCI's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results [SEER] data linked to Medicare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems [CAHPS] survey responses), to examine experiences of care among breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer survivors age >66years who completed CAHPS >1year after cancer diagnosis and survived ≥1year after survey completion. Experience of care was assessed by survivor-provided scores for overall care, health plan, physicians, customer service, doctor communication, and aspects of care. Multivariable logistic regression models assessed associations of survivors' sociodemographic and clinical characteristics with care experience.
RESULTS: Among 19,455 cancer survivors with SEER-CAHPS data, higher self-reported general-health status was significantly associated with better care experiences for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer survivors. In contrast, better mental-health status was associated with better care experience for lung cancer survivors. College-educated and Asian survivors were less likely to indicate high scores for care experiences. Few differences in survivors' experiences were observed by sex or years since diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS: The SEER-CAHPS data resources allows assessment of factors influencing experience of cancer among U.S. cancer survivors. Higher self-reported health status was associated with better experiences of care; other survivors' characteristics also predicted care experience. Interventions to improve cancer survivors' health status, such as increased access to supportive care services, may improve experience of care.