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The long-term psychosocial impact of cancer: the views of young adult survivors of childhood cancer

Journal title
European journal of cancer care
Publication year
Brown, M. C.; Pearce, M. S.; Bailey, S.; Skinner, R.

It is rare for studies to approach psychosocial outcomes of childhood cancer in a holistic and explanatory way. Doing so would enable a greater understanding of why and in what way a young person’s life may be affected by cancer. This qualitative study aimed to explore the views of childhood cancer survivors (CCS) regarding how they perceive their illness to have influenced them and their subsequent lives. Twelve CCS with a median age of 23 years old took part in either a focus group or a telephone interview. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. The main themes were altered life perspectives, perceptions of self and lasting effects on relationships. Through these themes, the survivors gave insight into how their experience had influenced their views and how this had impacted on different areas of their lives. Although positive aspects were discussed, enduring issues were reported by some. Findings suggest that despite high levels of achievement, some survivors may still benefit from further information and support especially in relation to relationships and fertility. This study will inform the development of a questionnaire aiming to collect important information on the many factors which may influence long-term psychosocial outcomes in CCS.

Research abstracts