Cover Image

Providers’ Perspectives on Addressing Health Risk Behaviors and Mental Health among Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cance

Carla J Berg, Erin Stratton, Natia Esiashvili, Ann Mertens, Robin C. Vanderpool

Abstract


Objectives: We examined healthcare providers’ perspectives on how childhood cancer impacts young adult health behaviors and psychosocial functioning, how healthy lifestyle and psychosocial issues are addressed in this population, challenges related to addressing these issues, and potential resources for addressing them.

Methods: In 2012, we recruited 21 healthcare providers (e.g., oncologists, nurses, social workers) who treat young adult survivors of childhood cancer from a children’s hospital and a cancer center in the Southeastern U.S. to complete telephone-based semi-structured interviews.

Results: Our sample was an average of 45.95 (SD=7.57) years old, 52.4% female, and 81.0% MDs. Most mentioned that the impact of cancer on health risk behaviors and psychosocial functioning depended on several things including social support and other environmental factors. Participants indicated several general activities and approaches aimed at addressing healthy lifestyles among this population. Participants reported a range of health education, from minimal education to continuous education throughout treatment and survivorship. Providers indicated a team-oriented approach to addressing psychosocial issues and that the survivorship program addressed the complications of obtaining insurance, education and employment, and reproductive health within this population. A major factor was the involvement of the family in addressing these issues. Providers’ challenges in intervening included limited time, resources, financial support, and referral options. Participants suggested resources to address these challenges.

Conclusions: Several resources are needed to address the challenges faced by practitioners in addressing young adult survivors’ issues, including physical resources, social support resources, education for patients and healthcare providers, and programs to provide financial support.


Keywords


Survivorship care; young adults; childhood cancer; health behavior; health promotion; mental health

References


Mulhern RK, Tyc VL, Phipps S, Crom D, Barclay D, Greenwald C, Hudson M, Thompson EI. Health-related behaviors of survivors of childhood cancer. Med Pediatr Oncol. 1995, 25(3):159-165

Clarke SA, Eiser C. Health behaviours in childhood cancer survivors: a systematic review. Eur J Cancer. 2007, 43(9):1373-1384

Carpentier MY, Mullins LL, Elkin TD, Wolfe-Christensen C. Prevalence of multiple health-related behaviors in adolescents with cancer. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2008, 30(12):902-907

Oeffinger KC, Mertens AC, Sklar CA, Kawashima T, Hudson MM, Meadows AT, Friedman DL, Marina N, Hobbie W, Kadan-Lottick NS, Schwartz CL, Leisenring W, Robison LL; Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Chronic health conditions in adult survivors of childhood cancer. N Engl J Med. 2006, 355(15):1572-1582

Tercyak KP, Donze JR, Prahlad S, Mosher RB, Shad AT. Multiple behavioral risk factors among adolescent survivors of childhood cancer in the Survivor Health and Resilience Education (SHARE) program. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2006, 47(6):825-830

Coups EJ, Ostroff JS. A population-based estimate of the prevalence of behavioral risk factors among adult cancer survivors and noncancer controls. Prev Med. 2005, 40(6):702-711

Hobbie WL, Stuber M, Meeske K, Wissler K, Rourke MT, Ruccione K, Hinkle A, Kazak AE. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress in young adult survivors of childhood cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2000, 18(24):4060-4066

Krull KR, Huang S, Gurney JG, Klosky JL, Leisenring W, Termuhlen A, Ness KK, Kumar Srivastava D, Mertens A, Stovall M, Robison LL, Hudson MM. Adolescent behavior and adult health status in childhood cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2010, 4(3):210-217

National Research Council, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition. 2005, The National Academies Press

Emmons KM, Butterfield RM, Puleo E, Park ER, Mertens A, Gritz ER, Lahti M, Li FP. Smoking among participants in the childhood cancer survivors cohort: the Partnership for Health Study. J Clin Oncol. 2003, 21(2):189-96


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


AJCCR (ISSN 2574-3015)Copyright © 2012-2018. All rights reserved. Published by Ivy Union Publishing, 3204 Valley Rush Dr, Apex, North Carolina 27502, United States