Incorporating Children’s Oncology Group Health Links into Clinical Practice (C223)

3:30 – 4:30 pm Friday, October 29

coglogoThe care of children with cancer spans diagnosis and treatment, with the goal being survivorship. Approximately 80% of children diagnosed with cancer will survive, and many childhood cancer survivors may experience both physical and psychological late effects secondary to their cancer or its treatment.

The term late effects is used when describing complications, disabilities, or adverse outcomes that are the result of the disease process, treatment, or both (Hewitt et al., 2003). The Children’s Oncology Group Long-Term Follow-Up Guidelines for Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancers (COG LTFU) are risk-based, exposure-related, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines intended to increase awareness of potential late effects and to standardize and enhance the follow-up care provided to survivors of pediatric cancer throughout their lifespan. The Nursing Clinical Practice Subcommittee, which worked in parallel with the development of the COG LTFU, developed Health Links, complementary patient health education materials designed specifically to accompany selected sections of the guidelines to provide targeted health information (Landier et al., 2004; Eshelman et al., 2004). What began with 33 Health Link topics in 2004 has now expanded to 43 topics, with many Health Links now available in French, Spanish, and Chinese language. We will share the history of Health Links development along with clinical and practical scenarios to ensure pediatric oncology nurses are aware of this valuable resource and are able to incorporate these patient education resources into daily practice.