Programs for adult survivors of childhood cancer.
PURPOSE: The potential for late effects of treatment necessitates long-term monitoring of adult survivors of childhood cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine how institutions follow up young adult survivors of pediatric malignancy. Specifically, we were interested in the types of health care providers who follow up these patients, how the follow-up is administered, and what barriers to follow-up have been encountered. METHODS: A 16-item questionnaire was mailed to the 219 members of the Children's Cancer Group (CCG) and the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG). The survey consisted of four categories of questions that asked for information regarding the existence of a program to follow up young adults, the setting of the program, routine activities of the program, and commonly encountered barriers to care. RESULTS: One hundred eighty-two members returned the survey (83% response rate). Fifty-three percent of the respondents have a long-term follow-up clinic at their institution. Whereas 44% have a mechanism for following up adult survivors, only 15% of the programs have established a formal database for adults. Nearly all the programs (93%) use a pediatric oncologist. Although an adult oncologist assists in 13% of the programs, primary care physicians are uncommonly (8%) involved. CONCLUSION: Few programs focus on the long-term health care needs of adult survivors of childhood cancer. The majority of existing programs are in pediatric institutions, without significant input from adult-oriented, generalist health care providers.
Oeffinger, KC; Eshelman, DA; Tomlinson, GE; Buchanan, GR
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