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A small scale, qualitative focus group to investigate the psychosocial support needs of teenage young adult cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy in Wales

David, Clare L., Williamson, Keren and Tilsley, David William Owen 2012. A small scale, qualitative focus group to investigate the psychosocial support needs of teenage young adult cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy in Wales. European Journal of Oncology Nursing 16 (4) , pp. 375-379. 10.1016/j.ejon.2011.08.002

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychosocial support services offered to young adult cancer patients, aged 18 to 24 years, who had undergone a course of radiotherapy treatment within a Welsh regional Cancer Centre. Method: A focus group interview was utilised to encourage dialogue and collect rich data. Transcripts were analysed through open coding and content analysis. Emergent themes in terms of psychosocial tensions were identified and categorised as external stressors and intrinsic anxieties. Findings: All participants indicated a desire to maintain their identity as individuals and resume as normal a life as possible throughout the treatment process and beyond. Peer support was deemed as vital to achieving this goal. Participants demonstrated a distinct sense of unity and group cohesion throughout the session with suggestions that they considered themselves to be very different from what they thought of as ‘usual cancer patients’. A range of information was offered prior to radiotherapy however there was variation in the efficacy of this provision between centres. At variance with literature, issues related to body image were not overtly demonstrated as significant. Support services provided by external organisations were not being signposted. Conclusion: Psychosocial support is vital to the psychological recovery and well being of young adult cancer patients. Findings suggest that issues related to peer support and age appropriate services and information are not being addressed within current service provision. Key staff within radiotherapy should be identified to ensure that the specific needs of this distinct patient group are met.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychosocial ; Young adults ; Cancer ; Support
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1462-3889
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:58
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/30083

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