Purpose: To explore the experiences and perspectives of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors regarding patient-provider relationships and their preferences surrounding type of healthcare provider for follow-up care. Methods: We recruited AYA cancer survivors who were diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 39 using the Utah Cancer Registry. Twenty-eight survivors participated in six focus groups held between March and May of 2015 in Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah. This analysis focuses on how survivors' preferences about type of healthcare provider may influence their transition into, and utilization of, follow-up care. Results: On average, survivors were 6.3 (standard deviation = 1.7) years from their cancer diagnosis. A majority of survivors expressed a desire not to transition to a new provider and preferred continuing to see their oncologist for follow-up care. For these survivors, this was due to already having a close relationship with their oncologist and because they trusted their provider's knowledge about cancer and how to handle late effects. However, survivors placed emphasis on being comfortable with their healthcare provider, regardless of provider type. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate the importance of formalizing provider transitions and roles after cancer therapy to improve patient comfort with new providers. By understanding the complexities of the transition from active cancer treatment to follow-up care for AYA survivors, these findings can inform programs undertaking post-care educational activities to ensure a seamless transition into survivorship care. Survivorship care plans can facilitate these transitions and improve patient confidence in follow-up care.
- follow-up care
- healthcare providers
- late effects
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health