Preventive service utilization among low-income cancer survivors

Brenna E. Blackburn, Miguel Marino, Teresa Schmidt, John Heintzman, Brigit Hatch, Jennifer DeVoe, Laura Moreno, Nathalie Huguet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Adequate access to and utilization of preventive services are vital among cancer survivors. This study examined preventive service utilization of cancer survivors compared to matched patients with no history of cancer among patients seeking care at community health centers (CHCs). Methods: We utilized electronic health record data from the OCHIN network between 2014 and 2017. Cancer survivors (N = 20,538) ages ≥ 18 years were propensity score matched to three individuals with no history of cancer (N = 61,617) by age, sex, region, urban/rural, ethnicity, race, BMI, and Charlson Comorbidity Index. Preventive screenings included cancer, mental health and substance abuse, cardiovascular, and infectious disease screenings, and vaccinations. Patient-level preventive service indices were calculated for each screening as the total person-time covered divided by the total person-time eligible. Preventive service rate ratios comparing cancer survivors to patients with no history of cancer were estimated using negative binomial regression. Results: Cancer survivors had higher overall preventive service utilization (incidence rate ratio = 1.11, 95% confidence interval = 1.09–1.13) and higher rates of cancer screenings (IRR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.12–1.20). There was no difference between the two groups in mental health screenings. Conclusions: Cancer survivors were more likely to be up-to-date with preventive care than their matched counterparts. However, mental health and substance abuse screenings were low in both groups, despite reports of increased mental health conditions among cancer survivors. Implications for Cancer Survivors: With the growing number of cancer survivors in the USA, efforts are needed to ensure their access to and utilization of preventive services, especially related to behavioral and mental healthcare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1054
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Community health centers
  • Low-income cancer survivors
  • Preventive service utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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