Background: Adolescents with cancer form a distinct group with special care needs. These patients are often cared in an adult supportive care setting where the special needs of adolescents are not met. Aim: To identify special issues in adolescents with cancer and to determine whether special needs of adolescents are met in an adult cancer setting Materials and Methods: 10 adolescents with cancer were randomly chosen and retrospectively studied for physical, psychoscocial and emotional issues using an internally validated tool. Results: Pain was the most common physical symptom seen in all 10 patients. 3 out of 10 patients were involved in decision making, 3 out of 10 patients had identity issues and 4 out of 10 patients had peer group isolation issues. Only 3 were aware of diagnosis and none were aware of treatment outcomes and mortality. 4 out of 10 had anxiety and depression and 3 out of 10 had body image issues. Sexuality, spiritual and existential issues were not explored in any of the patients studied. Conclusion: The outcomes of the study were in an adult oncology setting there was a poor recognition of key adolescent issues such as sexuality, body image, identity and peer group isolation. The psychosocial supports to these adolescents were minimal and spiritual and existential issues were not explored. The inferences drawn from this study suggested a need for multidisciplinary team approach oriented in handling adolescent care needs and preferably to have a dedicated space that will help the peer group to interact, bond and cope better with the illness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health Policy