City Research Online

Adolescents' and young adults' experiences of childhood cancer: descriptions of daily life 5 years after diagnosis

Doukkali, E. B., Winterling, J., Eriksson, L. E. , Lampic, C., Hagström, A. S. & Wettergren, L. (2013). Adolescents' and young adults' experiences of childhood cancer: descriptions of daily life 5 years after diagnosis. Cancer Nursing, 36(5), pp. 400-407. doi: 10.1097/ncc.0b013e31829fd80e


Background: Survivors of childhood cancer are a growing population in society. These young people have a high risk of developing chronic health problems with a potential strong impact on their lives. How a childhood cancer experience affects survivors in adolescence has only been studied to a limited extent, and an increased understanding of this young group is needed to improve follow-up care.

Objective: The aim was to gain a deeper understanding of how childhood cancer affects the lives of survivors by exploring adolescents' and young adults' views of what it is like living with this experience.

Methods: Fifty-nine people 11-22 years old were interviewed a median of five years after diagnosis (response rate 66%). Data was collected through telephone interviews and analysed with qualitative content analysis.

Results: Three groups of informants were identified according to their descriptions of influence on daily life: ‘Feeling like anyone else’ (the informants who described that the cancer experience had almost no influence on current life) (49%), ‘Feeling almost like others’(those who described some influence) (44%) and ‘Feeling different’ (those describing a great influence on current life) (7%).

Conclusions: Most of the adolescents and young adults appear to get along well, although many informants described that life was affected to some extent by having had cancer. Implications for Practice: Necessary follow-up care that can identify those young survivors of childhood cancer having trouble with daily life and offer them support to strengthen their resources in managing difficulties in relation to having had cancer.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Doukkali EB, Winterling J, Eriksson LE, Lampic C, Hagström AS, Wettergren L (2013) Adolescents' and young adults' experiences of childhood cancer: Descriptions of daily life 5 years after diagnosis, Cancer Nursing 36(5):400-407
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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