Purpose: This systematic review aimed to determine the effectiveness of nurse-led cancer survivorship care, compared with existing models of care, on patient reported outcomes for cancer survivors.

Methods: Randomised and non-randomised controlled trials and controlled before-after studies published in English between 1 January 2007 and 28 July 2017 were identified in bibliographic databases including Medline, Pubmed and PsychINFO. Included studies described nurse-led cancer care after treatment to adults (age ≥18 years) <2 years post treatment completion. Risk of bias was assessed using Joanna Briggs Institute’s tools and meta-analysis was undertaken.

Results: Twenty one publications were included describing 15 tumour-specific trials involving 3278 survivors of breast (n = 5), gynecological (n = 3), head and neck (n = 2), colorectal (n = 2), upper gastrointestinal (n = 2) and prostate (n = 1) cancers. Seven trials reported quality of life (QoL) using the EORTC QLQ-C30; participants receiving nurse-led care (4–6 months) had better cognitive (4 trials, 463 participants; mean difference [MD] = 4.04 [95% CI, 0.59–7.50]; p = 0.02) and social functioning (4 trials, 463 participants; MD = 3.06 [0.14–5.97]; p = 0.04) but worse appetite loss (3 trials, 354 participants; MD = 4.43 [0.08–8.78]; p = 0.05). After intervention completion, intervention participants had reduced fatigue (4 trials, 647 participants; MD = −4.45 [−7.93 to −0.97]; p = 0.01).

Conclusion: This systematic review synthesised outcomes of models of nurse-led survivorship care and contributes a meta-analysis of patient QoL to survivorship evidence. This review was limited by the risk of bias in many included studies for blinding of treatment personnel and outcome assessors. Nurse-led care appears beneficial for cancer survivors for some QoL domains.


cancer, survivor, systematic review, meta-analysis, nurse-led, model of care

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