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Palliat Support Care. 2007 Jun;5(2):127-34.

Unmet needs among adolescent cancer patients: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victoria, Australia.



Adolescents with cancer pose a unique challenge to current health systems and the professional working with them. Throughout the world, it is increasingly recognized that the needs of this particular group of patients may not be met through existing services within either the pediatric or adult systems. In Australia, this is a new area of research, and little is known about the unmet physical, psychological, and social needs of this patient group. This study reports the outcomes of a focus group conducted to explore these issues.


Six young people, with a mean age at diagnosis of 17 years and 6 months, participated in a 2-h focus group. A qualitative analytic approach was utilized to examine themes.


The participants identified a number of concerns relating to three broad categories: information provision, treatment processes, and survivorship.


The research findings support previously documented evidence that indicate gaps in cancer services provided to this age group. Importantly, these gaps can be narrowed by improving access to adolescent multidisciplinary teams and introducing specific training for health care professionals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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