Paper Presentation: Supporting Patient Well-Being and Quality of Life—Psychosocial interventions to improve social health of adolescents and young adults with cancer: A review (214-3)

12:55 – 1:15 pm Thursday, September 3

The incidence of cancer diagnosis in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) population has been increasing, and more frequently these patients are being cared for at pediatric institutions. The AYA population has a set of psychosocial needs that differ from other age groups. Failure to tend to these needs leads to a host of negative health outcomes from cancer and therapy and negatively impacts the quality of life.

With a growing AYA population under the care of pediatric oncology interdisciplinary teams, there is an urgent need to understand which mechanisms and interventions are effective for meeting the psychosocial supportive care needs for AYAs undergoing therapy for cancer.

The purpose of this review is to identify psychosocial support interventions that have been used in AYAs with cancer and report on the strengths, weaknesses, and efficacy of these intervention programs. Findings from this review are helpful for those who are planning evidence-based interventions for addressing psychosocial health in AYAs.

A comprehensive search was conducted with terms pertaining to adolescents, young adults, cancer, psychosocial metrics, and outcome measures to identify all literature published on psychosocial interventions for AYAs with cancer. Identified articles were cross-referenced, sorted, and evaluated for quality. Publications were organized into groups based on the methodology of psychosocial care through an inductive qualitative approach. Findings from each publication are discussed based upon the intervention type to compare and contrast success intending to psychosocial needs.

Six types of interventions were identified: creative expression, promoting peer interactions, individual coaching, engaging technology, promoting physical activity, and clinical interactions. Overall, effective interventions are those that tend to the developmental needs of AYAs with cancer and are delivered in a format that recognizes and respects AYAs’ values of privacy, autonomy, decision making, and social integration during treatment.

Clifton Thornton, MSN RN CNMT CPNP
CNE Hours: