The development and user evaluation of health behaviour change resources for teenage and young adult cancer survivors

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Abstract

Background Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Survivors (TYACS) are advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce the impact of cancer and its treatments upon their long-term health. However, at present there are no interventions available in the UK to support TYACS to lead a healthy lifestyle. To inform the development of a lifestyle intervention for TYACS a partnership was set up between academic behavioural scientists and CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity which supports children and young people. Methods A series of studies to understand patient and professionals needs and perspectives regarding health behaviour change were carried out. TYACS were surveyed to gather data on their current health behaviour status; interest in, and experience of receiving, lifestyle advice; and preference regarding the type, format, and delivery of a lifestyle intervention. Health care professionals were surveyed simultaneously to gather their views on how best to promote health behaviour change to TYACS. In this paper we summarise key findings from the development work, the resulting lifestyle intervention, and new data from a preliminary evaluation study exploring TYACS and TYA health professionals’ views on the relevance, appeal and usability of the intervention resources. Results A collection of health behaviour change intervention resources containing lifestyle information and behaviour change support tools were developed. These intervention resources were well received by TYACS and health professionals with the majority rating the information as high quality, helpful and relevant. Over 80% of TYACS reported they would find the support tools ‘very appealing’ or ‘quite appealing’. TYACS and health professionals provided feedback on how the resources could be improved including commenting that more personalized or tailored health behaviour information would be beneficial. Discussion and conclusion It is hoped that by involving TYACS and TYA representatives at every stage of intervention development,and carrying out a preliminary evaluation of the intervention resources, the problem of low uptake and adherence commonly encountered during formal intervention piloting and evaluation will be prevented.

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Pugh, G., Hough, R., Gravestock, H., Davies, C., Horder, R., & Fisher, A. (2019). The development and user evaluation of health behaviour change resources for teenage and young adult cancer survivors. Research Involvement and Engagement, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40900-019-0142-6

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