Using Teamwork to Bridge the Adolescent and Young Adult Gap

Academic Article


  • PURPOSE:Individuals diagnosed with cancer age between 15 and 39 years (adolescents and young adults [AYAs]) have not seen improvement in survival compared with children or older adults; clinical trial accrual correlates with survival. Unique unmet needs among AYAs related to psychosocial support and fertility preservation (FP) are associated with health-related quality of life.METHODS:We enhanced existing structures and leveraged faculty/staff across pediatric/adult oncology to create novel teams focused on AYA (age 15-39 years) care at a single center, with minimal dedicated staff and no change to revenue streams. We aimed to influence domains shown to drive survival and health-related quality of life: clinical trial enrollment, physician/staff collaboration, psychosocial support, and FP. We captured metrics 3 months after patients presented to the institution and compared them before/after Program implementation using descriptive statistics.RESULTS:Among 139 AYAs (age 15-39 years) from the pre-Program era (January 2016-February 2019: adult, n = 79; pediatric, n = 60), and 279 from the post-Program era (February 2019-March 2022: adult, n = 215; pediatric, n = 64), there was no change in clinical trial enrollment(P ≥.3), whereas there was an increase in the proportion of AYAs referred for supportive care and psychology (pediatric: P ≤.02; adult: P ≤.001); whose oncologists discussed FP (pediatric: 15% v 52%, P <.0001; adult: 37% v 50%, P =.0004); and undergoing FP consults (pediatric: 8% v39%, P <.0001; adult 23% v 38%, P =.02).CONCLUSION:This team-based framework has effected change in most targeted domains. To affect all domains and design optimal interventions, it is crucial to understand patient-level and facility-level barriers/facilitators to FP and clinical trial enrollment.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wolfson JA; Bhatia S; Bhatia R; Smith MW; Dai C; Campbell SB; Gunn DD; Mahoney AB; Croney CM; Hageman L
  • Start Page

  • E150
  • End Page

  • E160
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 1