Examining factors associated with self-management skills in teenage survivors of cancer
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BACKGROUND: Monitoring long-term health of teenage cancer survivors is dependent on successful transition from pediatric to adult long-term follow-up (LTFU) care. This study identified factors associated with self-management skills (SMSs), an important correlate of successful transition. METHODS: Data were collected from a cross-sectional survey conducted at three Canadian hospitals between July 2011 and January 2012. The sample included 184 childhood cancer survivors aged between 15 and 19 years. Independent factors included demographic- and illness-related factors. The outcome of interest was SMSs, measured using the SMSs scale, with higher scores indicating more SMSs. RESULTS: More SMSs were associated positively with older age (β = 1.2, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.1 to 2.4), being female (β = 4.6, 95 % CI = 1.9 to 7.4), and having a non-married parent (β = 5.2, 95 % CI = 0.04 to 10.4). There was a negative association between SMSs and having had a central nervous system tumor (CNS) compared to having leukemia (β = -7.9, 95 % CI = -13.5 to -2.2). CONCLUSIONS: Younger, male, and CNS tumor survivors lack SMSs. Future research is needed to explore the extent and nature of associations between SMSs and parents' marital status. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Younger, male, and CNS tumor survivors should be targeted for interventions in order to ensure that adequate SMSs are attained before completion of transition.
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