The successful transition of childhood cancer survivors (CCSs) from pediatric to adult long-term follow-up care is a critical phase, and determining the right time point can be challenging. We assessed the feasibility of the use of existing transition readiness tools in the context of the Swiss health care system, assessed partly transition readiness in Swiss CCSs, and compared our findings with Canadian CCSs for which these tools were originally developed.
We officially translated the Cancer Worry Scale (CWS) and Self-Management Skill Scale (SMSS) into German and integrated them into this cross-sectional study. We included CCSs attending the long-term follow-up (LTFU) clinic in the Division of Oncology-Hematology, Department of Pediatrics, Kantonsspital Aarau. We used descriptive statistics to describe transition readiness.
We randomly recruited 50 CCSs aged ≥18 years at participation. The CCSs had a median CWS score of 62 (interquartile range 55–71), indicating a moderate level of cancer-related worry. Despite high self-management skills, some answers showed a dependency of CCSs on their parents. Our experience shows that the CWS and SMSS are easy for Swiss CCSs to use, understand, and complete. The interpretation of the results must take differences in health care systems between countries into account.
The translated CWS and SMSS are appropriate additional measures to assess transition readiness in CCSs. These scales can be used longitudinally to find the individual time point for transition and the completion by CCSs enables the health care team to individualize the transition process and to support the CCSs according to their individual needs.