Cancer-related fatigue in teenage and young adult cancer patients: Clinicians' perspectives, practice and challenges

Emma Willmott, Maria Loades, Laura Baker, Anna Spathis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a common and distressing symptom experienced by teenage and young adult cancer patients (TYAs). This study aimed to explore clinicians' perspectives, practices and challenges in supporting TYAs with CRF.

METHOD: Ten clinicians from a TYA multidisciplinary team (MDT) participated in semi-structured interviews which were thematically analysed.

RESULTS: Clinicians perceived CRF as a common, but individual experience for TYAs and framed the broad impact of CRF in the context of TYAs' development. Clinicians' assessment and management of CRF for TYAs varied. Clinicians described a range of challenges affecting their practice in supporting TYAs with CRF, including limited knowledge, difficulties engaging TYAs, inadequate time in consultations and a lack of age-appropriate resources.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite clinicians' good insight into TYAs' unique experiences of CRF, the assessment and management of CRF for TYAs are complicated by numerous challenges. The development of evidence-based interventions and guidelines, clear pathways of care, and TYA-friendly resources, measures and programmes, is vital to support clinicians, and TYAs, in managing CRF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e13337
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors. European Journal of Cancer Care published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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