Researchers in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Montreal have published a study in the European Journal of Oncology Nursing which examines young adult patients in the self-management of their symptoms following allogeneic stem cell transplants (ASCT). The authors’ findings highlight the importance of developing autonomy, interoceptive ability, and acquisition of self-management skills in these patients.
ASCT is a life-saving treatment for blood-related cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. Unfortunately, in some patients who undergo ASCT, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) may occur. Managing the symptoms associated with GVHD is vital to patients’ recovery as well as their overall quality of life. The researchers focused on the learning experiences of young adult cancer survivors (YACS) aged 18-38 to determine how they best develop symptom management (SM) strategies post-ASCT.
It was determined that SM by YACS is an evolving process, with patients identifying their symptoms and gradually employing the most effective pharmacological, non-pharmacological, or natural strategies over time based on how useful they find each SM approach. Support groups, mobile apps, and online resources are examples of services that could be established to best support YACS in this process. These findings highlight the importance of promoting self-management skills in YACS.
Vinette B, Bilodeau K. Progression of self-management learning experiences of young adults following an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A qualitative study [published online ahead of print, 2021 Mar 19]. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2021;52:101951.