Palliative care is a critical component of treating patients with cancer but is not always a subject in which oncologists are efficiently trained.
For adolescents and young adults specifically it has been shown that integrating principles of palliative care into standard oncology practice has a positive effect on a patient's experience during their period of cancer treatment.
According to the authors of this paper, there is a need for the creation of effective guidelines for implementing successful palliative care in adolescents and young adults with cancer.
The authors state that early stages of oncology training should include topics regarding palliative care in order to better prepare clinicians in this subject and the specific needs of young adults should be included within this training due to the ways in which this group is inherently different from adults who are diagnosed with cancer.
The authors of this article go into a detailed review of the unique epidemiologic, psychosocial, and developmental factors that make the provision of palliative care especially challenging in this age group and provide a theoretical framework for the integration of palliative care education.
Despite the challenges of providing this support to patients, especially for oncologists who are simultaneously focused on diagnosing and treating a patient’s cancer, it is a meaningful and important component of a patient’s treatment.
Professional communities provide the opportunity to connect, care, and share experiences specific to palliative care.
National and regional palliative care special interest groups are increasing in prevalence and presence. Shared educational formats across institutions, such as collaborative journal clubs and case study teaching seminars, expand trainee learning opportunities, models collaboration, and minimize programmatic redundancies.
EDUCATIONAL DOMAINS – A TRIPLE-PERSPECTIVE
In training clinicians to provide more appropriate and integrated care for AYAs, eliciting trainee, trainer, and patient perspectives on valuable teaching content provides multiviewpoint insight into essential education domains.
Table 3 presents an overview of trainee, trainer, and patient learning priorities, and Table 4 provides an example of goals and objectives.
(To view a larger version of Table 3, click here.)
(To view a larger version of Table 4, click here.)