Process of diffusing cancer survivorship care into oncology practice.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Translational behavioral medicine, Volume 3, Issue 2, p.142-8 (2013)


2013, Clinical Research Division, October 2013


The LIVESTRONG Centers of Excellence were funded to increase the effectiveness of survivorship care in oncology practice. This study describes the ongoing process of adopting and implementing survivorship care using the framework of the diffusion of innovation theory of change. Primary data collection included telephone interviews with 39 members from the eight centers and site visits. Organizational characteristics, overall progress, and challenges for implementation were collected from proposals and annual reports. Creating an awareness of cancer survivorship care was a major accomplishment (relative advantage). Adoption depended on the fit within the cancer center (compatibility), and changed over time based on trial and error (trialability). Implementing survivorship care within the existing culture of oncology and breaking down resistance to change was a lengthy process (complexity). Survivorship care became sustainable as it became reimbursed, and more new patients were seen (observability). Innovators and early adopters were crucial to success. Diffusion of innovation theory can provide a strategy to evaluate adoption and implementation of cancer survivorship programs into clinical practice.