Lost in transition: child to adult cancer services for young people

McInally, Wendy (2014). Lost in transition: child to adult cancer services for young people. British Journal of Nursing, 22(22) pp. 1314–1318.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2013.22.22.1314


Cancer nursing care across the UK has dramatically improved for children and young people with cancer over the past 20 years (Department of Health, 2007). Around 70% of young people diagnosed with cancer survive into adulthood, albeit with long-term health complications (Scottish Government, 2012). This raises the contemporary concern of how best to transition these patients to an adult-focused care regime (National Cancer Survivorship Initiative, 2012). With support from a Florence Nightingale Foundation Travel Scholarship in 2012, this study compared the various transition models currently in use across the UK, Finland and the USA with a clear focus on individual patient choice, staff education and preparation to care for this group of patients and their families. The findings revealed wide discrepancy in current nursing practices across the globe. This article presents a series of findings and recommendations to improve further the overall cancer experience for young people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis.

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