Community pharmacy based health care service tailored to cancer survivors with late effects

Late effects of cancer


More than 50 % of all cancer survivors experience one or more late effects following the cancer disease or the treatment hereof. Current models of follow-up care inadequately meet the needs of many survivors, leading to unresolved late effects, see figure 1. Cancer survivors report numerous unmet physical, functional, psychosocial, and financial needs and problems, which can and do lead to reduced work productivity, quality of life, and survival. Community pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals for the public, and evidence-based pharmacy services focusing on patient-centred care have shown to improve health and quality of life and to lower mortality rates. Thus, it is relevant to explore if and how community pharmacies can contribute to an interdisciplinary, cross-sectional health care service targeting late effects after cancer.

The study aims at developing and feasibility testing a health care service for cancer patients and cancer survivors experiencing late effects. The service will build on existing collaboration between the general practitioner (GP) and the municipality, and will include the local community pharmacy. Since inclusion of community pharmacies in cancer care is new, the study will concentrate on the service to be delivered by the pharmacy. All phases in the study will be carried out in close cooperation with cancer patients and survivors, relevant health care professionals and organizations such as the Danish Cancer Society, GPs , the municipality and the late effects group (LEG). See figure 2 for project overview.

The components of the study are: 

  • To explore and assess the needs of cancer patients and cancer survivors experiencing late effects in order to provide input to improved treatment courses, tailored to patient´s needs and anchored locally through cooperation between relevant GP, municipality and community pharmacy. 
  • To assess community pharmacist’s knowledge of late effects after cancer and their attitudes towards engaging in coherent health care services for cancer patients and survivors with late effects and to build up the pharmacist´s knowledge in the area 
  • To facilitate a cross-sectional and cross-disciplinary workshop with community pharmacy, GP , municipality, and the LEG with the aim of co-creating a health care service in community pharmacy supporting the management of late effects.  
  • To use the results achieved from 1)-3) for developing and feasibility testing a pharmacy-run health care service on how to help cancer patients and cancer survivors manage late effects.