Attitudes and experiences of childhood cancer survivors transitioning from pediatric care to adult care

Childhood cancer survivors are prone to late effects of their treatment, requiring ongoing medical care. This qualitative study describes that attitudes and experiences of the transition from specialist pediatric care to adult-oriented, community-based healthcare. 18 survivors and 15 parents were recruited from 11 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand to describe transition barriers and facilitators. Participants described their transition attitudes as positive (55%), neutral (15%), or negative (30%). The primary barriers to transition included dependence on pediatric health care providers, less confidence in primary care physicians and inadequate communication. Facilitators included confidence in and proximity to physicians, good communication, information, independence, and age. This study shows that  survivors face many important barriers in their transition out of pediatric care. Early introduction to transition, greater collaboration between healthcare professionals, and a better information system may improve the transition process.

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