We're Done! Now What? Determining End of Treatment Needs of Childhood Cancer Survivors and their Parents (201)

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Thursday, September 15
As the number of child cancer survivors (CCS) increases, so has the recognition of the unique needs of this group throughout the cancer-survivorship continuum. The end of cancer treatment (EOT) is a critical timepoint on this continuum. Family support and education needs at EOT are estimated to be at a similar level to what they were at diagnosis. Indeed, CCS and their parents report feeling unprepared for the physical, emotional, and psychosocial challenges inherent in recovering from treatment and reintegrating back into school, work, and family life.
Yet families feel better prepared by pediatric oncology health care professionals (HCPs) at the beginning of treatment than they are for EOT and life after cancer. Studies which identify the EOT needs of CCS and their parents are limited. Less is known about current services provided at EOT, and whether these services are meeting families’ needs. There is a call to determine appropriate and effective EOT psychoeducational services that prepare families for and promote successful navigation through this transition period. This presentation will describe the results of our mixed-methods research in which HCPs, CCSs, and parents identified their experiences at EOT: from current practices to services recalled, and unmet needs identified. Correlations between education/psychosocial care and satisfaction and preparedness, as well as the analysis of participants’ open-ended responses, will be highlighted. Psychoeducational topics and delivery methods found to impact the EOT transition for CCS and parents will be identified. Nurses are uniquely positioned to develop, coordinate, and provide the care needed at EOT. This care is critical, as successfully transitioning at EOT can lead to improved coping and resilience for CCS and their parents. Results of this research will inform the development and provision of EOT services to meet the specific needs of CCS and parents.