Advertisement

Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 779–782 | Cite as

Advocacy skills training for young adult cancer survivors: the Young Adult Survivors Conference at Camp Māk-a-Dream

  • B. J. ZebrackEmail author
  • K. C. Oeffinger
  • P. Hou
  • S. Kaplan
Short Communication

Abstract

Goals of the work

This manuscript reports on the design, implementation, and evaluation of the Young Adult Survivor Conference (YASC)—a 4-day retreat designed to provide an educational and support experience for cancer survivors diagnosed as children, adolescents, and young adults. The goals of the program were to address issues of survivorship, provide cancer education and tools for self-advocacy, and build bridges of support among young adult cancer survivors who may be experiencing similar journeys through life.

The program

YASC was designed to offer advocacy skills specific to participants’ needs. Workshops focused on understanding late effects, mentoring and communication, tips for starting peer support programs and networks, and opportunities for offering public testimony and involvement in public policy.

Evaluation

Program evaluation indicated that participants achieved personal goals and expectations for having fun, meeting other survivors, understanding more about their cancer and potential late effects, and learning about how to tell their story so that it will help others.

Conclusions

Involvement with peers who have shared a similar experience provided participants an opportunity to address areas of concern such as coping with uncertainty, dependency vs autonomy, social exclusion, body image, intimacy, sexuality and fertility, and career options. Participation in programs such as the YASC offers young survivors opportunities for life experiences that may promote successful achievement of age-appropriate developmental tasks.

Keywords

Young adults Advocacy Survivors Oncology camps 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The authors wish to acknowledge the Children’s Oncology Camp Foundation and Camp Māk-a-Dream for their cooperation in the preparation of this report and the Lance Armstrong Foundation for their financial support of the 2003 Young Adult Survivors Conference.

References

  1. 1.
    Dolgin MJ, Somer E, Buchvald E, Zaisov R (1999) Quality of life in adult survivors of childhood cancer. Soc Work Health Care 28(4):31–43CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Elad P, Yagil Y, Cohen LH, Meller I (2003) A jeep trip with young adult cancer survivors: lessons to be learned. Support Care Cancer 11(4):201–206CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hobbie WL, Stuber M, Meeske K, Wissler K, Rourke MT, Ruccione K, Hinkle A, Kazak AE (2000) Symptoms of posttraumatic stress in young adult survivors of childhood cancer. J Clin Oncol 18(24):4060–4066PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kadan-Lottick NS, Robison LL, Gurney JG, Neglia JP, Yasui Y, Hayashi R, Hudson M, Greenberg M, Mertens AC (2002) Childhood cancer survivors’ knowledge about their past diagnosis and treatment: childhood cancer survivor study. JAMA 287:1832–1839CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Oeffinger KC, Mertens AC, Hudson MM, Gurney JG, Casillas J, Chen H, Whitton J, Yeazel M, Yasui Y, Robison LL (2004) Health care of young adult survivors of childhood cancer: a report from the childhood cancer survivor study. Ann Fam Med 2:61–70CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stevens B, Kagan S, Yamada J, Epstein I, Beamer M, Bilodeau M, Baruchel S (2004) Adventure therapy for adolescents with cancer. Pediatr Blood Cancer 43:278–284CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Thaler-Demers D (2001) Intimacy issues: sexuality, fertility, and relationships. Semin Oncol Nurs 17(4):255–262CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zebrack B, Chesler M, Penn A, Katz E (2005) Psychosocial issues in adolescent cancer patients and survivors. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care, MayGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zebrack BJ, Chesler MA (2000) Managed care: the new context for social work in health care—implications for survivors of childhood cancer and their families. Soc Work Health Care 31(2):89–104CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Zebrack
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. C. Oeffinger
    • 2
  • P. Hou
    • 1
  • S. Kaplan
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Southern California School of Social WorkLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew York, NYUSA
  3. 3.Children’s Oncology Camp Foundation/Camp Māk-a-DreamMissoulaUSA

Personalised recommendations