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Semin Oncol. 2009 Oct;36(5):468-77. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2009.07.003.

Psychosocial outcomes and service use among young adults with cancer.

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University of Michigan School of Social Work, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106, USA.


At the crossroads between pediatric and older adult groups, young adults with cancer may be underserved or inadequately or inappropriately served by existing support services. Empirical evidence has not established well the extent to which utilization of psychosocial support services delivered throughout a continuum of care results in desired outcomes. If self-efficacy is demonstrated to play a significant role in promoting quality of life and psychological well-being in young adult cancer patients, then a cancer-specific self-efficacy model can serve as an evidence-based framework for developing, implementing, and testing new interventions. A focus on self-efficacy has the potential to promote young adults' abilities to remain active and independent, seek and understand medical information, manage stress, cope with treatment-related side effects, maintain a "positive attitude," regulate emotions, and seek social support. Future research should aim to identify which patients represent at-risk targets for intervention, as well as the most appropriate time points along the continuum of care at which patients/survivors are most likely to benefit from delivery/utilization of psychosocial support services.

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