Preparing Patients and Families for the Off-Therapy Transition (230)

2:30 – 3:30 pm Friday, September 4

Completion of cancer-directed therapy can be an exciting time for patients and their families but may also be anxiety provoking as they face a new set of challenges and a “new normal.” Patients may be returning to school with new needs for academic accommodations or returning to the care of their primary care provider, who may have limited experience with childhood cancer survivors.

A novel program, the Transition Oncology Program (TOP), provides multi-disciplinary systematic and prospective transition-related services for patients/families. Nurse practitioners, social workers, academic coordinators, psychologists, and a rehabilitation services coordinator comprise the TOP team and meet with each family prior to the completion of therapy. Throughout early survivorship, they identify psychosocial, cognitive, and physical effects and risks of cancer and cancer-directed therapy; help families navigate challenges associated with school, rehabilitative services, insurance resources, medical, and mental health care; and assist with transition to pediatric/adult health care providers in the patient’s local community. Nurse practitioners screen patients for physical, cognitive, and psychosocial effects/concerns prior to their return to campus for off-therapy visits and continue to provide transition-related education (e.g., late effects of cancer therapy, anticipatory guidance related to long-term follow-up clinic transfer, preparing adolescents to transition to adult health care providers). This session will describe program development, implementation, challenges, and future directions.

Emily Browne, DNP RN CPNP
CNE Hours: