Clinical, social, and psycho-oncological needs of adolescents and young adults (AYA) versus older patients following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Purpose To analyze demand for information and advice as well as medical, psychological, and social needs of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) and older patients (non-AYA) after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Methods A questionnaire was sent to 100 HSCT recipients comprising n = 50 AYAs (aged 19–39 years) and n = 50 non-AYAs (> 39 years). The questionnaire covered the categories: (a) patient characteristics; (b) need for advice, on medical, psychological, and social care
... d social care topics; (c) medical, psychological, and social needs, and (d) preferred forms and channels of information. Results The return rate was 65%. 62.5% of patients indicated medical needs; 41.1% psychological needs, and 64.9% had needs concerning social issues. Among medical aspects, aftercare was important to both groups. Nutrition was of highest interest for AYA, while non-AYAs identified fatigue and vaccination as their most pressing concerns. Body shape/sexuality and relaxation techniques were the most common psychological issues for AYA, while coping strategies were important for both cohorts. Family, relationship and friends were of less interest in both groups. Rehabilitation and premature retirement were of highest interest for both cohorts. The preferred mode of communicating advice was one-to-one conversation in a quiet environment as opposed to informational sessions. Conclusion Despite well-established aftercare programs following HSCT, many patients describe unmet needs regarding medical, psychological, and social policy issues. AYA and non-AYA differ in informational needs after HSCT, and, therefore, age-appropriate informational materials are necessary. Particularly AYA may profit from information covering body-shape/sexuality and nutrition, while both cohorts require information covering coping strategies and aftercare.