Purpose: Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors experience unique barriers that compromise receipt of survivorship care; therefore, development of innovative educational interventions to improve rates of AYA survivorship care is needed. The efficacy of text-messaging and peer navigation interventions was compared to standard-of-care survivorship educational materials to increase AYAs' (1) late effects knowledge and (2) knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy towards seeking survivor-focused care.
Methods: This was a three-armed, prospective, randomized controlled trial with one control group and two intervention groups. The control group received current standard-of-care educational materials. One intervention group participated in a text-messaging program, and the second participated in a peer navigator program. Participants completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. Study outcome variables were quantified using Fisher exact tests, two-sample t tests, exact McNemar tests, conditional logistic regression models, and analysis of covariance.
Results: Seventy-one survivors completed the study (control n = 24; text-messaging n = 23; peer navigation n = 24). Late effects knowledge was high at baseline for all groups. The text-messaging group had increased survivorship care knowledge compared to the control group (p < 0.05); the peer navigation group had increased survivorship care self-efficacy compared to the control group; p < 0.05. Both intervention groups showed increased attitudes towards seeking survivor-focused care compared to the control group (text-messaging p < 0.05; peer navigation p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Each intervention demonstrated significant benefits compared to the control group.
Implications for cancer survivors: Given the preliminary effectiveness of both interventions, each can potentially be used in the future by AYA cancer survivors to educate and empower them to obtain needed survivorship care.
Keywords: Adolescents and young adults; Cancer survivors; Cancer survivorship care; Peer navigation; Text-messaging.