The Experiences of Young Adults With Hodgkin Lymphoma Transitioning to Survivorship: A Grounded Theory Study

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Abstract

Purpose/Objectives:

To explore the experiences of young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma during the first year following the end of initial treatment.

Research Approach:

A qualitative grounded theory study.

Setting:

Interviews with patients recruited from three cancer centers in England.

Participants:

10 Hodgkin lymphoma survivors (four men and six women aged 21–39 years) recruited as part of a larger study of 28 young adult cancer survivors.

Methodologic Approach:

Semistructured interviews were conducted about two months after treatment completion, and follow-up interviews were conducted seven months later. The authors’ grounded theory of positive psychosocial adjustment to cancer provided the conceptual framework.

Findings:

Positive reframing, informal peer support, acceptance, and normalization helped young adults dismantle the threats of Hodgkin lymphoma during the course of treatment. However, they described losing a sense of security following treatment completion. Greater age-specific information to enable better preparation for the future was desired regarding body image, fertility, sexual relationships, work, and socializing.

Conclusions:

Informal support mechanisms, like peer support and patient navigator interventions, may be useful ways to further support young adults after treatment completion.

Intepretation:

Positive psychosocial adjustment to cancer survivorship in young adults is facilitated by having informal peer support; being able to positively reframe, accept, and normalize their experience; and being prepared for the future.

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