Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 2643–2649 | Cite as

Nurse-led follow-up care for cancer patients: what is known and what is needed

  • Jacqueline de LeeuwEmail author
  • Maria Larsson
Review Article


Traditionally, cancer patient follow-up has focused on disease surveillance and detecting recurrence. However, an increasing number of patients who have survived cancer acknowledge the importance of cancer rehabilitation issues and the need for more patient-oriented models of care by reporting their unmet physical, emotional, and social needs. Nurse-led follow-up care for cancer patients fulfills this need and has been developing gradually for various cancer diagnoses and prognoses. A growing body of evidence suggests that these services provide high-quality care that is both safe and efficient. Furthermore, patients benefit from the continuity of care and easy access to support for their multitude of needs, provided by such organized care. In this paper, we review the literature published in the past 5 years regarding nurse-led follow-up care for cancer patients in order to provide input and opinion for future research, clinical practice development, and nursing leadership. We pay special attention to head and neck cancer patients, a group that has been largely understudied and hence underreported in the literature. These patients have specific needs with respect to information and education regarding their cancer and potential treatment side-effects as well as a particular need for long-term psychosocial support and practical advice.


Nurse-led care Follow-up Review Oncology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck SurgeryRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CenterNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Health SciencesKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

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