Purpose/Objectives: To describe changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and to identify supportive care services used after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in young adults.
Design: A longitudinal, repeated-measures study design was used to test the feasibility of data collection at the conclusion of treatment for HL and at one, three, and six months post-treatment.
Setting: Participants were identified from two large comprehensive cancer centers in New England.
Sample: 40 young adults with newly diagnosed HL were enrolled in the study prior to the completion of chemotherapy or radiation.
Methods: Data were collected by interviews, standardized questionnaires, and medical record reviews.
Main Research Variables: HRQOL variables defined as symptom distress, functional status, emotional distress, and intimate relationships; use of specific supportive care services; and baseline demographic and disease-related information.
Findings: Results indicate that symptom distress improved at one month post-treatment and remained low at three and six months. Similarly, functional status improved at one month post-treatment. Only 13% of the sample had significant emotional distress at baseline, and this decreased to 8% over time. Patients placed high value on their intimate relationships (i.e., family and friends or sexual partners). A variety of supportive care services were used after treatment, the most common of which were related to economic issues. However, by six months post-treatment, services shifted toward enhancing nutrition and fitness.
Conclusions: The results from this study suggest that HRQOL in young adults with HL improved one-month post-treatment and that interest in using supportive care services was high.
Implications for Nursing: Facilitating the use of supportive care services at the end of cancer treatment appears to be an important part of helping young adults transition to survivorship.
Knowledge Translation: Supportive care services appear to be a vital component of the transition to survivorship and often change over time from an emphasis on economic issues to enhancing wellness through nutrition and fitness programs.