Background: Most children diagnosed with cancer are surviving into adulthood but are not receiving adequate or appropriate follow-up health care. However, to the authors' knowledge, there is little literature published to date exploring potential barriers to long-term risk-based follow-up care for young adult survivors of childhood cancer.
Methods: In the current study, using a modified Delphi technique, young adult cancer survivors identified barriers to utilizing appropriate follow-up care and offered suggestions for ways to enhance health care in this young adult population.
Results: Major barriers to health care were found to be a lack of knowledge on the part of both physicians and survivors regarding long-term health issues related to cancer. Suggestions to enhance care included self-advocacy training for survivors and advanced training for primary care physicians who may treat childhood cancer survivors as they transition into adulthood.
Conclusions: The results of the current study are consistent with reports that young adult survivors of childhood cancer need or desire information regarding their medical histories, psychosocial support, and social advocacy.
Copyright 2004 American Cancer Society.