Unique approach needed to accurately assess health of young adult cancer survivors

April 11th, 2012
Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (JAYAO) is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the promotion of interdisciplinary research, education, communication, and collaboration between health professionals in AYA oncology. Credit: ©2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers
Childhood cancer survivors are living longer and there is an urgent need for better, more comprehensive ways to evaluate their health-related quality of life and need for psychosocial services, according to a review article in Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (JAYAO), a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. JAYAO is the Official Journal of the Society for Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (SAYAO). The article is available free online at the Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology website at http://www.liebertpub.com/jayao.

Since the 1970s, the 5-year survival rate of childhood cancer in the U.S. has increased from less than 50% to nearly 80%. This significant increase in survival creates a resulting large increase in the number of adolescent and young adult-aged cancer survivors, the majority of whom will experience "late effects"—side effects of the disease or treatment that may occur several years later. Late effects can have detrimental effects on health-related quality of life, a multidimensional concept covering aspects related to the impact of disease or treatment on a person's life, and their perceptions of and satisfaction with these aspects.

Based on an extensive review of published studies, a team of authors has concluded that traditional tools created to assess health-related quality of life in adult-onset cancer are not sufficient for use in young adult survivors, and a broader range of measurement is needed to evaluate this population. Chandylen Nightingale, MPH, Barbara Curbow, PhD, Elizabeth Shenkman, PhD, and I-Chan Huang, PhD, University of Florida, Gainesville, Gwendolyn Quinn, PhD, University of South Florida, Tampa, Bradley Zebrack, PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Kevin Krull, PhD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, reported their findings in the article, "Health-related Quality of Life of Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Review of Qualitative Studies."

Provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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