Trying to Feel Normal Again: Early Survivorship for Adolescent Cancer Survivors


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

BackgroundDespite knowing the potential medical consequences of cancer treatment, little is known about how adolescents cognitively and emotionally frame, process, and manage in the early survivorship period.ObjectiveThe specific aims were to describe the worries, perceived challenges, and ways of dealing with these issues for adolescent cancer survivors in the early period of survivorship.MethodsTwenty-nine adolescent survivors (12–18 years) completed a semistructured interview. Inductive coding methods adapted from grounded theory were used to analyze the data.ResultsSeven domains and 18 categories organized the adolescent's experience with early posttreatment survivorship. The domains included getting back to school; relationships with parents, siblings, friends; feeling changed by the experience; and concerns about relapse.ConclusionsThis study contributes to our understanding of survivors' relationships with parents, siblings, and friends and survivors' models of the illness. Future studies are needed to understand how parents can help adolescents assume greater responsibility for their care, to understand what it is like for friends to have a peer with cancer and what behaviors by healthcare providers contribute to feelings of abandonment later in survivorship, and to better understand adolescent survivors' models of the illness and survivorship.Implications for PracticeStudy results suggest that nurses are in an ideal position to begin and to continue discussions with adolescent survivors about the adolescent's view of medical follow- up, its purpose and importance, and ways in which the adolescent can begin, early on, to engage in planning their own health during survivorship.

    loading  Loading Related Articles