Do current cancer follow-up care practices meet the needs of young adult cancer survivors in Canada? A qualitative inquiry

B. Miedema, J. Easley, L.M. Robinson

Abstract


Purpose

The purpose of the present study was to assess whether current cancer follow-up care practices meet the needs of young adult cancer survivors in Canada.

Methods

This qualitative study used a constructivist grounded theory framework to analyze telephone interviews with cancer survivors from across Canada diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 39 years. The focus was specifically on cancer follow-up care (cfc).

Results

Interviews were conducted with 55 participants, and 53 interviews were used for the analysis. The overall theme that emerged from the data was the lack of age-specific cfc. Some of the subthemes that emerged were the absence or inadequacy of fertility and infertility treatment options; of psychological services such as family, couples, and sexuality counseling; of social supports such as assistance with entry or re-entry into the education system or
workplace; of access to supplemental health insurance; and of survivorship care plans. Based on the data resulting from the interviews, we developed a conceptual model of young-adult cfc incorporating the major themes and subthemes that emerged from our study. The proposed model aims to ensure a more age-appropriate and comprehensive approach to cfc for this group of cancer patients.

Conclusions

Current Canadian cfc practices are inadequate and do not provide comprehensive care for young adult cancer survivors in Canada. The conceptual model presented here aims to ensure a more comprehensive approach to cfc that meets the needs of this unique cancer population and reduces further possible physical, psychological, or social cancer sequelae.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.20.1207






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