The adolescent cancer experience: loss of control and benefit finding
ABSTRACT Developmental goals of adolescence include attaining confidence in independent decision making and a positive image of the self, others and surrounding world. A diagnosis of cancer during adolescence has the potential to impact on successful achievement of these goals. This study examined the 'adolescent cancer experience' from the perspective of young people. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 young people (16-22 years old) who had been diagnosed with cancer during adolescence. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts revealed two latent themes: loss of control and benefit finding. Adolescents reported that feelings of loss of control resulted in a sense of frustration, feelings of inadequacy and anger, and non-compliance with treatment. Perceived benefits of cancer experiences included improved personal attributes, strengthened relationships and material gains. These themes have not previously been well described in this population. The findings underline the need for effective communication, ongoing psychological support and service flexibility when providing care for adolescents with cancer.
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ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of cancer in adolescence is a significant challenge, particularly because of the developmental expectations of this life-stage, regarding autonomy and identity formation. Adolescents must assimilate cancer into their normative identity work. The objective was to explore and describe themes common to adolescents with cancer. A longitudinal qualitative descriptive design was used. Participants were interviewed up to 4 times during the first year after diagnosis, and inductive content analysis was used. Fifteen adolescents participated. The most salient themes over time related to the development of adolescent identity, cancer identity, and integration of the two into an adolescent with cancer identity. This research demonstrates the active role that adolescents with cancer take in constructing their identities both around their cancer and separate of it. Further research is needed to more fully delineate this process, but this research provides a framework for next steps. Understanding this process allows practitioners to provide anticipatory guidance for adolescents experiencing cancer, understanding their need for peer support (peers with cancer and without) as well as the need to normalize the cancer experience to the greatest extent possible.Cancer nursing 03/2014; 37(6). DOI:10.1097/NCC.0000000000000132 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: 1 This study describes the experiences of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) in Western Australia who received cancer treatment in an adult hospital. A qualitative focus group methodology was utilized and two focus groups were conducted: one for 15–19 year olds and another for 20–25 year olds. Isolation and com-munication/information needs were identified as key themes pertinent to the AYAs' experiences. AYAs treated in adult hospital settings felt isolated due to the treatment environment and inability to connect with other AYAs going through similar experiences. Health professionals should communicate with AYAs in a personable and tailored manner. F or adolescents and young adults (AYAs) diag-nosed with cancer internationally, the unique challenges and difficulties of adolescence and young adulthood are further compounded by the impact of a cancer diagnosis, resulting in a difficult adjustment period. 1–3 The ''AYA paradox''—whereby individuals become sick and more de-pendent on others at a life stage during which they would usually be moving towards independence—can cause diffi-culties for the adolescent or young adult. 4 A diagnosis of cancer during this transitional stage is a significant life event that will invariably impact on an individual's normal physi-cal, psychological, social, and/or educational develop-ment. 4,5 Research has suggested that an AYA's developing sense of self can be distorted or damaged by a cancer expe-rience during these transitional years. 603/2014; 3(1):42-46. DOI:10.1089/jayao.2013.0025
09/2011; 1(3):145-151. DOI:10.1089/jayao.2011.0037