Multiprofessional Priorities for Adolescent and Young Adult centered care

Adolescent and young adult-centered care for patients with brain tumors must include the following elements: (1) the provision of clear information about the disease and access to appropriate psychosocial and fertility counseling, (2) access to comprehensive rehabilitation services, (3) access to appropriate education and neuropsychological assessment and planning, and (4) access to family support services. These priorities were developed by an experienced, multiprofessional audience at the Teenage Cancer Trust Conference that took place at the Royal College of Physicians, London, in March 2004.

Traditionally, clinical services for the management of severe neurological problems have not been organized with an emphasis on the aforementioned services. However, the adolescent and young adult patient and family confronted with traditional clinical neurosurgical environments is frequently intimidated, frightened, and unable to understand the complex clinical systems and information presented to them as the stages of diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment delivery, rehabilitation, and follow-up evolve. This experience is disempowering and can strongly influence the adolescent and young adults compliance with the complex requirements of therapy and rehabilitation. The family and care providers are as important in this process as the patient because one cannot function effectively without the other. It is helpful to make available the additional resources now provided for adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their families, particularly via the internet [2].

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