The Involvement of Rural Health Clinic Practitioners in Cancer Treatment Decisions and Survivorship Care


This study surveyed Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) to examine how practitioners are involved in their patients' cancer treatment and survivorship decisions.

Key Findings

  • More than a third of RHC practitioners were involved in primary decision making as it relates to assessing treatment preferences regarding their patients' cancer treatment.
  • RHC practitioners were involved in specific cancer treatment decisions, such as surgery or clinical trial enrollment, to a lesser extent, ranging from 10.4% to 24.1% of practitioners.
  • The majority of RHC practitioners were involved in aspects of survivorship care screening for recurrent cancer.
  • More than 90% of RHC practitioners were involved in survivorship care tied to smoking cessation, diet and physical activity counseling, treating sexual dysfunction, or treating depression/anxiety among cancer survivors.
  • Roughly two-thirds of RHC practitioners engaged in bidirectional communication, providing relevant medical patient history to cancer specialists, either "always" or "often."
Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Whitney Zahnd, Allie Silverman, Stella Self, Peiyin Hung, Nabil Natafgi, Swann Adams, Shaun Owens, Elizabeth Crouch, Jan Eberth