Unmet needs: Adolescents and young adult cancer patients lack psychological, social support
A cancer diagnosis for adolescents and young adults can be especially challenging, and new research shows the social, psychological and informational support these patients need might be going unmet.
Compared to both children and older adult cancer patients, adolescents and young adults, ages 14-39, demonstrate a different set of psychosocial needs and issues related to their unique age-related development. Whether these patients are treated in a pediatric or adult setting can influence their clinical and psychosocial well-being.
A new study lead by University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers shows significant proportions of patients in this age group are not getting their care needs met. Results from the study were published in the journal Cancer.
"When patients in this age group are diagnosed with cancer, they face issues like premature confrontation with mortality, changes in physical appearance, disruptions in school or work, financial challenges and loss of reproductive capacity, that can all be particularly distressing," says Bradley Zebrack, Ph.D., MSW, MPH, associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan.
"Whether it's mental health care, information for topics like infertility, or other aspects of care like camps or retreat programs, this study shows that many of these patients aren't getting the care they need to address these unique challenges."
The researchers surveyed 215 newly diagnosed cancer patients between the ages of 14 and 39, assessing the patients' use of and desire for various information resources, emotional support services and practical support services.
They found that patients in their 20s were significantly less likely than teens and patients in their 30s to report using mental health services and were more likely to report an unmet need for cancer information, infertility information and diet/nutrition information.
Additionally, compared with teens who were treated in pediatric settings, young adults treated in adult, as opposed to pediatric, facilities were more likely to report an unmet need for age-appropriate Internet sites, mental health services, camp and retreat programs, transportation assistance and complementary and alternative health services.
Zebrack, the study's lead author, says because there's a lack of research surrounding the needs and desires for care of patients in this age group, it can be hard for health care professionals to establish age-appropriate services to meet their unique psychosocial challenges.
He says the results of this study might help medical professionals better tune their care to meet the needs of their adolescent and young adult patients.
"Our research shows increasing patient referral to community-based social service agencies and reputable Internet resources can enhance the care and improve the quality of life for this group of patients," he says. "The more we know about their needs, the better support health care professionals will be able to provide."
More information: "Psychosocial service use and unmet need among recently diagnosed adolescent and young adult cancer patients." Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27713
Journal reference: Cancer
Provided by University of Michigan Health System
- Teens and young adults with cancer face unique challenges and require targeted care Mar 14, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Focused Internet services provide better support to breast cancer patients Jul 15, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Cancer study finds adolescents don't get same access to latest treatments as younger patients Jan 15, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Almost half of cancer survivors have ill health in later years Oct 11, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Transitioning patients with pediatric disease to adulthood Apr 28, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
10 hours ago Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Treating pediatric leukemia patients with a liposomal formulation of anthracycline-based chemotherapy at a more intense-than-standard dose during initial treatment may result in high survival rates without causing any added ...
Cancer 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Scientists have uncovered a survival mechanism that occurs in breast cells that have just turned premalignant-cells on the cusp between normalcy and cancers-which may lead to new methods of stopping tumors.
Cancer 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Frequent heartburn was positively associated with cancers of the throat and vocal cord among nonsmokers and nondrinkers, and the use of antacids, but not prescription medications, had a protective effect, according to data ...
Cancer 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Aggressive forms of bladder cancer involve the protein PODXL – a discovery that could hold the key to improved treatment, according to researchers at Lund University, Uppsala University and KTH in Sweden.
Cancer 5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients. Now, a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University Medical Center ...
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of ...
31 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
31 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—The human brain is able to identify individuals' voices by comparing them against an internal 'average voice' prototype, according to neuroscientists.
47 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
An anti-cancer drug reverses memory deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers confirm in the journal Science.
24 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Since the discovery of Prontosil in 1932, sulfonamide antibiotics have been used to combat a wide spectrum of bacterial infections, from acne to chlamydia and pneumonia. However, their side effects can include serious neurological ...
31 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |