Psychosocial difficulties in adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood cancer

Yuko Takei, Akiko Ogata, Miwa Ozawa, Hiroshi Moritake, Kei Hirai, Atsushi Manabe, Shin Ichi Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background With a large number of children surviving cancer worldwide, numerous investigations have assessed psychological and social adjustment among childhood cancer survivors. According to these studies, it is unclear whether childhood cancer survivors successfully adjust to daily life after being discharged from hospital, especially for adolescent and young adult survivors who have unique needs and concerns. The primary aim of this study was to identify the factors underlying psychosocial difficulties faced by adolescent and young adult survivors in their day-to-day lives after being discharged from hospital. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Twenty-five childhood cancer survivors were recruited from two regional cancer institutions in Japan. Content analysis was applied to the responses. Results Nineteen attributes were extracted and classified into four categories as follows: physical difficulties, interpersonal difficulties, behavioral difficulties, and uncertainty about the future. The attributes indicated by >50% of the participants were "I am worried about not feeling well," "I have difficulty continuing treatment in daily life," "I have difficulty moving my body," "I have to be absent from school or work because of illness," and "I am left behind academically." Conclusions This study identified important factors of psychosocial day-to-day difficulties. Clinically, these results suggest that it is important to watch for these signs and to provide early support to survivors so that their daily life and development are not hindered by the treatment and its side-effects, and to offer long-term support focusing on individual patient characteristics such as sex, age, and cancer history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalPediatrics International
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • cancer
  • psychosocial difficulty
  • survivor
  • young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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