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Evidence-based planning for adolescent-friendly cancer services

  • Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.


    Adolescents have specific medical and psychosocial needs that are different from both children and adults, demanding attention in health service development and the delivery of safe, effective, quality care. A cancer diagnosis adds immeasurable challenge to the period of adolescence and threatens to disrupt the young person's intended trajectory, even in survival. In planning services for young people with cancer, it is critical to recognise the unique complexities that face this population and actively engage them in a consultative process to develop an increased understanding of what is important in the delivery of effective care in an appropriate environment.            

    This study aims to provide preliminary information about the experiences and needs of adolescents with cancer. Specific areas of investigation include:

    • adolescents' informational needs at diagnosis
    • preferences around decision making, experiences of and preferences for communication
    • experiences of inpatient and outpatient service delivery
    • the impact that having cancer has on education and training.

    A project-specific survey has been developed, based upon literature review and clinical experience. It elicits quantitative and qualitative responses from young people who are currently on treatment, and those who have recently completed treatment. A web-based survey format has been used to better engage participants and improve the rate of participation.

    Findings from this study will highlight implications and recommendations for the development of specific cancer services for adolescents.


    Children's Cancer Centre Foundation


    Maria McCarthy