Experiences of young people living with cancer in nonmetropolitan areas: a review of the literature

Sariman, Jodi A., Harris, Nonie M., Harvey, Desley, and Sansom-Daly, Ursula M. (2020) Experiences of young people living with cancer in nonmetropolitan areas: a review of the literature. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, 9 (2). pp. 133-144.

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This review explores the literature on experiences of young people (15–39 years) living with cancer from nonmetropolitan areas, given most available research has focused on those living in major metropolitan areas. The purpose of the review was to inform (a) clinical practice and (b) future research on young people living with cancer in nonmetropolitan areas. An integrative review method explored peer-reviewed publications in CINAHL, Medline, PsycINFO, SSCI, PsycARTICLES, Socindex, and Google Scholar for literature published over the past 20 years. Twelve studies (reported in 17 articles) were eligible for inclusion, of which most (n = 8) had been conducted in Australia. Findings highlighted “the tyranny of distance” from metropolitan specialist cancer care centers negatively affected young people's health (e.g., delayed diagnoses), with financial distress1, psychosocial, cultural, and other challenges resulting. Negative effects were heightened during major treatment transitions at diagnosis, during, and after cancer treatment. One study found some Indigenous Australians did not report symptoms and refused referrals if it necessitated travelling long distances. Five studies did not report greater challenges experienced by nonmetropolitan compared with metropolitan respondents. Health care professionals helping young people can mitigate negative challenges through education and support at diagnosis about financial distress and psychosocial challenges. We recommend further research target ways to minimize delays in diagnosis, reporting of symptoms or accepting allied health referrals, psychosocial upheaval, financial distress, and explore issues particular to First Nations people, to inform services how to meet unique needs of young people living with cancer from nonmetropolitan areas.

Item ID: 60822
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2156-535X
Keywords: rural; remote; financial distress; psychosocial challenges; geographical distance; social work; adolescent; cancer
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Copyright Information: © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Funders: Services for Rural and Remote Allied Health, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC APP1111800
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2019 00:44
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440901 Clinical social work practice @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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