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National Cancer Institute

Conference Evaluation

[The conference] equipped me with timely knowledge to share with advocacy organizations” – Conference participant

[The knowledge shared at this meeting led to a] paradigm shift in my thinking about cancer control” –Conference participant

The Second Biennial Cancer Survivorship: Pathways to Health After Treatment was held at the Marriott Wardman Hotel in Washington D.C., June 16-18 2004. A total number of 325 participants traveled to the conference from all over the United States and abroad (4 from Canada, 2 from Copenhagen, 2 from Norway, and 1 from Spain). United States and foreign representation is equivalent to the 2002 conference.

The 2004 conference introduced several new features including: breakout sessions, topic-specific breakfast roundtable discussions, and the first Survivor-Researcher Mentor Program. Prior to the conference, the Office of Cancer Survivorship received 74 scientific abstract submissions and 50 were accepted for the Poster Session. Of the 77 applications received from all over the United States for the Survivor-Researcher Mentor program, 20 advocates were selected to participate.

Overall, the conference was well-attended and well-received. Of those who attended, 133 persons (37 percent) completed the conference evaluation form. In general, evaluation respondents provided positive comments and constructive feedback regarding their impression of the conference.

Plenary Sessions

5 = Excellent 4 = Very Good 3 = Good 2 = Fair 1 = Poor

Plenary Speakers Aggregate Score
Level of knowledge and Expertise 4.7
Quality of Instruction 4.4
Presentation Relevance to the Conference Goals 4.6
Overall rating 4.5

Of all of the areas that respondents liked best about the conference, the top response was that they liked the broad range of content covered by “high-caliber speakers.” All of the Plenary speakers scored between the range of “excellent” and “very good.” Respondents rated Dr. LaSalle Lefall, Jr. as having the most engaging and informative overall presentation, followed by Drs. Patricia Ganz and Karen Emmons. Throughout the evaluation, the most frequent comments made about Plenary Speakers was that their presentations were “excellent” and “well-done,” while the most common complaint was that respondents “needed handouts” to accompany the presentations. Additional areas of concern were that the plenary room temperature was “too cold” and that the room was not “handicap friendly” due to the number of stairs.

Breakout Sessions

5 = Excellent 4 = Very Good 3 = Good 2 = Fair 1 = Poor

Session Usefulness of Activity in advancing the Science Usefulness of Activity in gaining a new perspective Relevance to Conference Goals Extent to Which discussion was encouraged
Neurocognitive Functioning 4.5 4.6 4.8 4.0
Sexual Functioning & Fertility 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.7
Fatigue & Pain 4.7 4.5 4.7 4.5
Follow-up Care and Surveillance 4.4 4.4 4.6 4.6
Understudied Populations 4.5 4.6 4.4 4.0
Psychological Distress 4.2 4.2 4.4 4.4
Family Members & Caregivers 4.3 4.3 4.8 4.2

General comments provided from each of the Breakout sessions were that speakers did a “great job” and their presentations were “informative.” Respondents identified having the combination of the Researcher and Survivor perspective in their session as what they liked best about their session, and felt that including more Breakout Sessions could add to the overall quality of the conference. In terms of areas of improvement, respondents noted concerns about time-keeping and not having ample opportunity for interactive discussion or Q & A.

Overall Conference

Overall Session Rating Aggregate Rating

Participant achievement of learning objectives

  1. Articulate the latest scientific findings
  2. Identify populations at greatest risk
  3. Identify interventions that improve health outcomes and well being of survivors
  4. Examine National priorities



Participation in this activity enhanced professional effectiveness 4.4
Overall Quality of instruction 4.4
The overall relevance of instruction to cancer survivorship 4.7
Adequacy of physical facilities 4.1
Overall Conference Rating 4.4

Most of the respondents seemed to enjoy the vast variety of content addressed through the different types of sessions at the conference. When asked what they liked best about the conference, the most frequent response related to conference format was the “Breakout Sessions,” followed by “Opportunities to Network.” Respondents felt the quality of the conference could improve by:

  • including more Breakout/Roundtable sessions,
  • providing handouts for all sessions,
  • adding more time to the overall conference, and
  • hosting a panel between cancer survivors and researchers.

Respondents identified potential survivorship topic areas to be covered in the future. The top 5 suggestions are as follows:

Topic Areas:

  • Effective interventions, including psychosocial, pediatric cognitive and e-interventions
  • Long Term/Follow-up Care
  • Health Disparities and Underserved Populations
  • Practical Issues, including workplace and insurance issues
  • Family and Caregivers of Survivors

Based on the overall rating and additional comments, respondents enjoyed the meeting facility, staff and food offered during the luncheon. The three top choices for location and time of year for future conferences were:


  1. Washington D.C.
  2. New York City, NY and Boston, MA
  3. Chicago, IL

Month/Time of Year

  1. June, Early summer
  2. May, Spring
  3. October, Fall

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