Winter 2021 NAACCR Narrative Leave a comment










On behalf of the NAACCR Communications Steering Committee, I would like to thank the 94 individuals who responded to our survey last Fall. Respondents were from a wide range of cancer surveillance sectors and disciplines including central cancer registries (CCRs) and reporting facilities; and, physicians, other health care providers, epidemiologists, analysts, and other researchers. The information that we gathered from the survey will be integral to our workplan in the coming years, but in the meantime, we would like to highlight some key findings from the survey.


• 33 of 94 (35%) were from reporting facilities and physicians or other health care professionals. These were excluded from the final analysis.

• 59 of 94 (63%) were from CCRs or reported being a researcher, analyst, or other². These were included in the final analysis to focus on the opinions of NAACCR’s primary members and the Narrative’s primary audience.

o 37.3% (n=22) management/administrative staff at CCR

o 30.5% (n=18) abstractor/case processor/CTR at CCR

o 27.1% (n=16) epidemiology staff at CCR or other cancer researcher or analyst


Accessibility, Readability, and Length

• 52 (88.1%) cited the NAACCR Listserv email as the primary way they get the Narrative Newsletter.

• 36 (61%) read every issue and 11 (18.6%) read it 2-3 times a year. As many as 13.6% (n=8) never read the Narrative Newsletter. When asked why respondents didn’t read the NAACCR Narrative, most (71.4%, 5 of 7) said they didn’t know it existed.

• Of the 47 respondents who answered Question #4, 78.7% (n=37) believe the Narrative is just the right length, only about a fifth (21.3%) felt it was too long.

• Other notable comments:

o Online version easy to read and navigate

o Like the current structure that lets you go to specific sections

o Add second level to table of contents

o Skim and read content of interest

o Don’t fully “read” every article, browse to see if there is info that I need

o Articles need to be shorter and bulleted style

o Personal articles would be better at the end

o Reading the Narrative is dependent on available time, “tag the email, and forget about it. I do sometimes go back and scan them, especially if I am at”

o Hybrid approach using short informative videos with viewing the speaker along with written narrative. “Especially now with various levels of remote working, people feel more connected with voice, picture, and speech rather than just text.”



• An overwhelming majority of respondents found that each section of the NAACCR Narrative was Extremely/Very Useful (Figure 1).

• Best practices from CCRs (n=35) and highlights from the NAACCR Annual Conference (n=22) and other conferences that NAACCR attends (n=24) were selected most when asked what additional content would make the Narrative more useful (Figure 2). **Other suggestions included highlighting specific innovations impacting CCRs, highlights from the national organizations on cancer surveillance, humor corner, IACR summary, list of resources with locations, major investigations on cancer, more information on workgroups collaborating with SEER, AJCC, NPCR and other partners for specific projects and initiatives.

• Other notable comments regarding content:

o Highlights from NAACCR Webinars and reminders of new ICD-O histology types.

o “There [is] too much information for a CTR to process already.”

o Recruitment corner where a member can indicate their interest in a particular subject matter or NAACCR work group and provide their contact information.





What’s next? The CSC will be doing a more in-depth review for some potential future changes to the Narrative based on your responses and suggestions. To learn more about the CSC, please visit and keep those articles coming!


¹ Two (2) respondents did not identify their affiliation. ² “Other” (n=6): CTR at hospital, data analyst at CCR, govt contractor, CBTRUS, spatial analyst, research analyst. This category could not be disaggregated and were included in the final analysis.





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