Communicating with teenagers and young adults with cancer

This guideline aims to equip healthcare professionals (HCPs) with tools to assist in effectively assessing teenagers and young adults with cancers' (TYAs) preferences and engaging them in communication at the level they desire.

Communication is a fundamental theme throughout the totality of the cancer trajectory. It is increasingly recognised that teenagers and young adults with cancer (TYAs) have experiences and communication needs that differ significantly from those of younger children and older adults. Communication with TYAs is critically important however, for healthcare professionals (HCPs) learning and experience is often incidental, with limited opportunities for formal postgraduate education.

Effective communication is critical to reduce anxiety and promote adherence to treatment in TYAs as they find it challenging to adhere to treatment due to the severity of their illness and symptoms.2–4 If young people are not heard and understood they can be labelled as difficult or a challenge which inhibits shared decision making and undoubtedly affects their future care.

Young woman speaking with a healthcare professional

TYAC Good Practice Guide: Communicating with teenagers and young adults with cancer

Published May 2022


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