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Cancer Survivor Camps: Programming for Young Adult Cancer Survivors Cancer Survivor Camps: Programming for Young Adult Cancer Survivors.

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Presentation on theme: "Cancer Survivor Camps: Programming for Young Adult Cancer Survivors Cancer Survivor Camps: Programming for Young Adult Cancer Survivors."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cancer Survivor Camps: Programming for Young Adult Cancer Survivors Cancer Survivor Camps: Programming for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

2 Research Summary This research project is a study of cancer survivor camps and their programs for young adult cancer survivors. The study analyzes:  the benefits of these camps for camp participants  the programs’ effectiveness in improving the quality of life for camp participants The literature review:  Analyzes art programming for cancer patients overall  Emphasizes the social support needs of young adult cancer survivors  Defines psychosocial and psychological issues faced by this population  Examines studies and surveys of this population to better understand programming needs  Researches cancer camps current program offerings This research addresses the gap in the literature as to what programs are effective and engaging for young adult cancer survivors.

3 Research Methodology  Extensive Literature Review  Document Analysis of peer-reviewed articles with surveys young adult cancer survivors.  Reflective Journals recording observations of camp participants engagement in programs, collected in my role as a camp program facilitator.  Interviews of camp administrators as key experts in the field.  Online Survey of young adult cancer survivors about camp programming and its effectiveness.

4 Each year 70,000 young adults, ages 18-39, are diagnosed with cancer. Survival rates have not increased since 1975 for young adults. Total Cancer Population by Age Group

5 While survival rates for older adults and children have markedly increased, survival rates have not increased for young adults since  A 10-year-old diagnosed with cancer in the late 1970’s had about 60% chance of surviving for five years.  A 10-year-old diagnosed in the ‘90s odds upped to 75%.  For 65-year-old, the five-year survival rate leapt from about 45% to more than 65%.  A 30-year-old: While she had a 70% chance of living for five years back then, her prognosis had actually slightly worsened by the late 1990s. (Hobson, 2007, p. 76)

6 The Need for Programs for Young Adult Cancer Survivors “I really had to do a lot of work myself to find out about things (resources/programs)... But I don’t feel it should be that way, because your mind is clouded so much already, that those things (resources/programs) should just be available through your doctor of whatever and they’re just not.” ~Young Adult Cancer Survivor (Rabin, 2011, p. 801)

7 Isolation becomes a major factor for young adult cancer survivors. The community the young adult belonged to before diagnosis drastically changes due to this non-normative life event. They feel no one can relate to the experiences they are going through. “I have people around me and just nobody understands what I’m going through.” ~Young Adult Cancer Survivor (Rabin, 2010, p. 800) “The experience of sharing stories and experiences with others who have been in similar situations can be enormously comforting and healing.” (Zebrack, 2009, p.352) Psychosocial Needs for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

8 Survey of Program Desires for Young Adult Survivors Behavioral interventions for cancer survivors have historically targeted older adults or childhood cancer survivors. A survey of 217 young adult cancer survivors indicated:  75% had a need or desire for peer support programs.  95% used or want to use internet sites that offer cancer education or support that is geared toward young adults.  62% wanted programs, such as camps or workshops, that offer cancer education and support appropriate for young adults. (Zebrack, 2009, p.352-4)

9 This Research’s Online Survey Results The reason young adult cancer survivors attend cancer camp:

10 This Research’s Online Survey Results Future programs at camp young adults want to participate in:

11 In Summation - Recommendations There is a great need for more programs OF ALL TYPES for young adult cancer survivors.  Programs for emotional support  Programs for transitioning beyond cancer  Programs about fertility, dating & self-esteem  Programs about grief & loss Art can be used within these programs to help facilitate a more open, interactive, reflective and participatory experience as young adults bond with their peers and process their cancer journey together. I highly recommend that these programs be incorporated into cancer clinics and hospitals. Especially within healthcare facilities that serve a large number of this population, because young adults have unique needs when coping with cancer that are different from older adults and children.

12 Questions?


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