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A Narrative Literature Review and Environmental Scan of Self-management Education Programs for Adolescent and Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer

Journal of Cancer Education
Christopher Michael Kobe, Lucie M. Turcotte, Karim Thomas Sadak
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Self-management education programs (SMEPs) have demonstrated a measurable benefit in enhancing self-efficacy, increasing health knowledge, and improving both health behaviors and physical symptoms associated with underlying conditions in multiple chronic disease populations. Adolescent and young adult (AYA) survivors of childhood cancer, defined as individuals ages 15 to 39 years, are at a high risk for adverse health outcomes due to late complications from previous cancer treatments, knowledge deficits of their risks, and complex socioeconomic challenges associated with transitional periods in their lives. We performed a literature review and environmental scan to systematically survey and interpret relevant SMEPs to identify opportunities for their development specific to the AYA population. Despite evidence existing for the importance of self-management and general educational messages for survivors of childhood cancer, very few evidence-based interventions have been developed for the AYA population. Most SMEPs for cancer survivors are geared towards individuals with cancer in adulthood. Among the limited interventions directed at survivors of childhood cancer, they are focused on individual health behaviors, such as physical exercise, mental health, nutrition, or self-efficacy. Given the ever-growing technological footprint in our daily lives, mobile health (mHealth) applications may be the most efficacious means of delivering self-management education to this specific population. As content is developed through mHealth applications as well as other platforms, they will need to be rigorously evaluated, given their potential to compliment survivor-focused care.

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