Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Educational Programming: A Qualitative Evaluation.
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BACKGROUND: This program evaluation considers the need for increased professional and patient education for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivorship. Due to the high incidence of late effects of cancer treatment among AYA cancer survivors, knowledge sharing and communications are needed throughout the transition from cancer care into community care. AYA survivors are likely to need developmentally appropriate psychosocial care as well as extensive follow-on surveillance by physicians who are educated and aware of the likely chronic conditions and late effects that may occur in these patients. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of the After Cancer Care Ends, Survivorship Starts for Adolescent and Young Adults (ACCESS AYA) programming. The intent of the ACCESS AYA program was to build health literacy around AYA survivorship issues and to stimulate improved communications between survivors and health care providers. This paper addresses the central research question of "How did the ACCESS AYA program increase health literacy, communications, and understanding among AYA survivors and providers?" METHODS: The primarily qualitative evaluation included a brief introductory survey of participant awareness and effectiveness of the ACCESS AYA project serving as a recruitment tool. Survey respondents were invited to participate in in-depth interviews based on interview guides tailored to the different stakeholder groups. The evaluation used the Atlas Ti qualitative database and software for coding and key word analyses. Interrater reliability analyses were assessed using Cohen kappa analysis with Stata 12.1 (StataCorp LLC) software. RESULTS: The key themes, which included survivor wellbeing, health care professional education, cancer advocates role and education, hospital and community-based resources, and the role of societal support, are presented in a concept map. The interrater reliability scores (ranging from 1 to minus 1) were .893 for first cycle coding and .784 for the second cycle. In the brief quantitative survey based on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 as high, the 22 respondents rated their level of awareness of the project with a mean 3.2 (CI 3.02-3.45) and project effectiveness with a mean of 4 (CI 3.72-4.27). CONCLUSIONS: This study contributes to understanding of the ACCESS AYA survivor community in central Texas and the health care professionals and advocates who aid them in their efforts to a new normal life and wellbeing in their survivorship. The results of the evaluation highlight the need to continue to build both survivor and professional resources to address the unique impact of cancer on AYA cancer survivors.