Self-reported Symptom Experiences and Self-management Strategies used by Children, Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer: What Can We Learn? (201)

3:45–4:45 pm Thursday, September 5

Obtaining relief from symptoms of disease and treatment is essential to the quality of life of children, adolescents, and young adults (AYAs) receiving treatment for cancer. With person-centered care, clinicians must understand the individual symptom experience of every child and AYA and promote optimal symptom management. Mobile technology-based resources, such as apps, are emerging as novel ways to support symptom reporting by patients during and between clinical encounters and to teach symptom self-management skills.

Simple, low-fidelity strategies, including draw-and-tell interviews, can also provide important insight into a child’s symptom experience and the strategies they use to alleviate their symptoms. This session will discuss the outcomes of three studies with 27 children and 158 AYAs who were receiving chemotherapy and reported their symptom experiences and their self-identified self-management strategies. Regardless of the symptom reporting strategy used in these studies, children and AYAs reported multiple self-management strategies to manage physical and psychosocial symptoms, including 1) physical things I do, 2) things I take (or not), and 3) psychosocial things I do. Many of their strategies were consistent with evidence-based recommendations. Strategies also reflected children’s and AYA’s personal, tailored approaches to symptom self-management. Nurses will be able to use this information to guide their own interactions and symptom assessments with children and AYAs and to develop developmentally tailored interventions for effective symptom self-management.