Youth Cancer Service Professional Development Project
Duration: October 2015 – March 2016
CanTeen, through its Youth Cancer Service, identified a need to systematically investigate the professional development needs of the Australian Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer workforce, drawing on existing national and international research and development work in this field. CHSD was commissioned by CanTeen to undertake this project, which aimed to establish the current status and approach to AYA cancer workforce professional development, identify evaluated and emerging education programs, consider implementation issues and recommend priorities for action in developing a professional development framework for this workforce.
What we did
A literature review was conducted to inform discussions around current and future professional development. Specifically the review examined evidence about the needs of young people with cancer, the professional development needs of health professionals who work with this group, and any evaluated or emerging interventions for building health professionals’ AYA cancer care skills, knowledge and personal qualities. As AYA cancer care is a new and emerging field, the review aimed to include as much of the limited available literature as possible. Therefore, AYA was defined in the broadest terms, encompassing those diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15 and 39. Literature regarding childhood cancer survivors between these ages was included when it was particularly relevant or addressed a gap in knowledge not yet addressed by more pertinent research. Where applicable, interventions were then rated for their strength of evidence according to the National Health and Medical Research Council expanded levels of evidence for interventions.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 key informants (eight international and 15 Australian experts), to explore views about training and professional development for health professionals working in AYA cancer care.
The final report presented the major findings from the literature review integrated with the relevant themes arising from the key informant interviews. The report was presented to CanTeen’s Education Training Advisory Group for input into recommendations and setting strategic priorities for professional development.
Project team: Kate Williams, Cristina Thompson, Darcy Morris, Pam Grootemaat, Cathy Duncan, Malcolm Masso