The following article features coverage from the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021. Click here to read more of Hematology Advisor’s conference coverage.

According to the results of qualitative study, adolescent survivors of childhood leukemia reported that they expect follow-up care to address support needs mostly in terms of psychosocial and emotional aspects. The findings were presented during the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021.

The study used semistructured, in-depth interviews to explore the needs and expectations of long-term follow-up care according to adolescent survivors of childhood leukemia. Exclusion criteria included history of relapse and mental or cognitive problems. Interviews were recorded and transcribed then analyzed using an inductive thematic approach.

A total of 14 survivors 12 to 18 years of age who had completed treatment at least 2 years prior participated in the study. Three main themes emerged: information needs, support needs, and thoughts about long-term follow up.


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Within information needs, 3 sub-themes emerged: long-term follow up, healthy life, and social life (with an emphasis on school-related issues). Within support needs, 2 sub-themes emerged: psychosocial (focused on peer relations, coping after then end of treatment, and future goals) and emotional (focused on fear of relapse, body image, and self esteem). Within thoughts about long-term follow up 2 sub-themes emerged: barriers (particularly those that are hospital/disease related, such as anxiety, painful procedures, long wait times, and negative memories, and social-life related, such as school, being away from family, and socioeconomic issues) and benefits (such as positive memories).

According to the authors, “Most survivors think that long-term follow up is necessary and some of them stated that they feel relieved and safe after follow up visits.”

“The study implies that adolescent survivors of childhood leukemia mostly need support in terms of psychosocial aspects; self esteem-body image, school, peer relations and social activities during follow up,” the authors concluded. “Identified barriers related to follow up were school absence and not to participate activities. Adolescents specify health promotion approaches as benefits aspects of follow-up.”

Read more of Hematology Advisor’s coverage of ESMO 2021 by visiting the conference page.

Reference

Arpaci T, Altay N, Yozgat AK, et al. Adolescent childhood leukemia survivors’ needs and expectations for long term follow up care: a qualitative research. Presented at: European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021; September 16-21, 2021. Abstract CN15.