Survivorship needs of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: a concept mapping analysis
Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer are known to have complex medical and psychosocial needs throughout treatment; however, information is lacking about the challenges AYA survivors face after treatment has ended. Focus groups were conducted using a concept mapping framework to better understand the most important issues these patients face in transitioning to survivorship and how prepared they felt to face them.
AYAs diagnosed between 18 and 39 years old and at least 2 years post-treatment participated in one of six focus groups based on age group and follow-up status. Using a concept mapping design, participants provided important issues during the transition to survivorship and appraised them on three core areas of interest.
Analyses revealed salient themes shared across age and follow-up group status, particularly related to the psychosocial, emotional, and cognitive effects of treatment. Differential concerns included those related to patients’ developmental concerns—namely, finding a new identity, financial burden of treatment, and fertility concerns after treatment.
AYA cancer survivors continue to have a myriad of issues beyond the immediate treatment phase. Despite a complex list of challenges, these issues largely remained unaddressed by their oncology provider and left patients feeling overwhelmingly ill-prepared to manage their transition to survivorship.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
AYA cancer survivors have many unaddressed concerns as they transition out of active cancer treatment, largely related to developmental issues they are facing. Survivorship care for these patients would benefit from care planning that takes these unique concerns into account.
KeywordsAdolescents and young adults Cancer Cancer survivors Concept mapping Oncology Survivorship
This study was funded by the American Cancer Society (Institutional Research Grant #IRG-02-197-09).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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