An actionable needs assessment for adolescents and young adults with cancer: the AYA Needs Assessment & Service Bridge (NA-SB)

Support Care Cancer. 2021 Aug;29(8):4693-4704. doi: 10.1007/s00520-021-06024-z. Epub 2021 Jan 29.


Purpose: In the USA, many of the nearly 90,000 adolescents and young adults (AYAs) diagnosed with cancer each year do not receive services to address the full scope of needs they experience during and after cancer treatment. To facilitate a systematic and patient-centered approach to delivering services to address the unmet needs of AYAs with cancer, we developed the AYA Needs Assessment & Service Bridge (NA-SB).

Methods: To develop NA-SB, we leveraged user-centered design, an iterative process for intervention development based on prospective user (i.e., provider and AYA) engagement. Specifically, we conducted usability testing and concept mapping to refine an existing tool-the Cancer Needs Questionnaire-Young People-to promote its usability and usefulness in routine cancer practice.

Results: Our user-centered design process yielded a need assessment which assesses AYAs' physical, psychosocial, and practical needs. Importantly, needs in the assessment are grouped by services expected to address them, creating an intuitive and actionable link between needs and services.

Conclusion: NA-SB has the potential to improve care coordination at the individual level by allowing cancer care programs to tailor service delivery and resource provision to the individual needs of AYAs they serve.

Keywords: Adolescent and young adult cancer; Biopsychosocial screening; Concept mapping; Needs assessment; Patient-reported outcome measures; User-centered design.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment / standards*
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult