Continuity of care, follow-up care, and outcomes among breast cancer survivors

Yun Yi Chen, Cheng I. Hsieh, Kuo Piao Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This retrospective cohort study examined the effects of care continuity on the utilization of follow-up services and outcome of breast cancer patients (stages I-III) in the post-treatment phase of care. Propensity score matching and generalized estimation equations were used in the analysis of data obtained from national longitudinal databases. The continuity of care index (COCI) was calculated separately for primary care physicians (PCP) and oncologists. Our results revealed that breast cancer survivors with a higher oncology COCI were more likely than those with a lower oncology COCI to use mammography or breast ultrasound during the follow-up period (OR = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.19-1.32; OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.06-1.18; respectively). In terms of health outcomes, a higher oncology COCI was associated with a lower likelihood of hospitalization (OR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.71- 0.85) and emergency department use (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.82-0.95). A higher PCP COCI was also associated with a lower likelihood of hospitalization (OR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.70-0.85) and emergency department use (OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.68-0.82). Overall, this study determined that ambulatory care continuity is positively associated with the likelihood of using recommended follow-up care services and negatively associated with adverse health events among breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3050
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Breast cancer
  • Care continuity
  • Continuity of care
  • Emergency department use
  • Follow-up care
  • Health outcome
  • Hospitalization
  • Surveillance
  • Survivors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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