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CancerCare® Publishes Findings from New Oncology Provider Study

White paper demonstrates continued momentum of the Patient Values Initiative and highlights key barriers to engaging patients in the treatment decision-making process

NEW YORK, New York (February 22, 2018) – CancerCare®, has announced the publication of a new white paper highlighting perspectives from oncology providers on the importance and utility of including patient priorities in treatment decisions. “Decision Making at the Point of Care: Voices of Oncology Providers” was developed as part of CancerCare’s Patient Values Initiative (PVI), a multi-pronged effort aimed at reframing the national healthcare policy framework to ensure that patient engagement in treatment decision-making becomes the true standard of care.

This newly published white paper builds on the findings from the first PVI white paper, “Patient Values Initiative: The Many Voices of Value”, published in 2017. The first white paper provided findings from focus group interviews with oncology social workers and patients, highlighting the importance and value of including what’s important to patients in their treatment plans, and reinforced the need for resources to help patients articulate their quality of life priorities before treatment begins.

In conjunction with this work, and to highlight the uniqueness of each patient experience, CancerCare assembled video interviews of three people living with cancer, to portray their journeys and underscore the individuality of each patient’s goals and lifestyle priorities.

The latest white paper includes information from in-depth interviews with 15 oncology providers including physicians, advanced practice nurses, practice managers and health IT experts. Focused on the provider perspective, it demonstrates that while many oncology providers have a desire to learn more about their patients, both personally and clinically, there are significant barriers to ensuring that patient priorities are part of treatment decision making. These barriers include the absence of formal procedures to capture personal information and share it among care team members, the challenges of interoperability between data sources, and the lack of electronic medical records fields that prompt the collection of patients’ quality of life priorities.

“Stakeholders across the oncology community are becoming increasingly aware that incorporating patient priorities into treatment decisions is a key element of “value” to the patient. Through the Patient Values Initiative, CancerCare will continue to work with patients, physicians, caregivers, industry experts and policymakers on innovative approaches to achieving meaningful patient engagement in treatment decision making,” said Ellen Miller Sonet, CancerCare’s Chief Strategy and Alliance officer.

Looking to the future, over the next several months, CancerCare will conduct a quantitative survey among oncology clinicians to better understand the findings from this qualitative research. Along with the perspectives from the patient and provider focus groups, it will inform the development and pilot testing of turnkey, low cost tools to facilitate the communication of patients’ quality of life priorities during treatment planning. The ultimate goal of the PVI is to ensure that genuine patient engagement in cancer treatment decision making becomes the standard of care, so that treatment plans reflect the true priorities, goals and needs of each patient.

Learn more about the Patient Values Initiative at

CancerCare extends its sincere thanks to the following sponsors for their support of this initiative: AbbVie, Bristol Myers Squibb, Celgene Corporation, EMD Serono, Lilly, Merck, Pfizer, PhRMA, Takeda Oncology.

CancerCare deeply appreciates the generosity of Morton L. Ginsberg in establishing the Ginsberg Family Patient Values Institute, to sustain the ongoing work of the Patient Values Initiative.

About CancerCare®

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.

To learn more, visit or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

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