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Impact of Survivorship Care on Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer With Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms

Wilhelmenia L. Ross
Hannah-Rose Mitchell
Neel S. Iyer
Sheila Judge Santacroce
Nina S. Kadan-Lottick
ONF 2019, 46(1), 33-43 DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.33-43

Objectives: To assess post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSSs) in young adult survivors of childhood cancer not receiving survivorship care and to determine whether attending a survivorship-focused healthcare visit was associated with changes in PTSSs.

Sample & Setting: 44 young adult survivors from the Yale Cancer Center in Connecticut without prior survivorship clinic attendance.

Methods & Variables: As part of a larger trial, participants were randomized to a model of survivorship-focused health care. The University of California at Los Angeles Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Reaction Index assessed PTSS severity and frequency before and after the visit.

Results: At baseline, almost half of the participants were classified as partial PTSD likely or PTSD likely. Many met criteria for elevated levels of individual symptoms, particularly avoidance or numbing. At follow-up, PTSSs did not differ significantly from baseline.

Implications for Nursing: Survivorship care should be encouraged by nurses in healthcare settings that do not specialize in caring for long-term survivors. Nurses should facilitate screening for PTSSs and promote interventions among survivors completing cancer therapy to help them transition to survivorship care.

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