Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Health Behaviour Change Among Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Author G.R. Pugh
Abstract There is growing recognition that teenage and young adult (TYA) cancer survivors should adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce the impact a cancer diagnosis has upon growth and development as well as long-term health. There is a need for health behaviour change interventions to be developed for TYA cancer survivors' in the UK which, in line with the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative, should be effective, inexpensive, and have the potential to be rolled out nationwide. In order to address this need, the aim of this thesis was to develop a health behaviour intervention specifically for TYA cancer survivors. Specifically this thesis includes: a systematic review of existing interventions targeting health behaviour change among TYA cancer survivors; data on the proportion of TYA cancer survivors meeting current health behaviour recommendations in comparison to TYAs within the general population (Study 1); and both quantitative and qualitative data on TYA cancer survivors interest in receiving health behaviour information and preference regarding the format, delivery, and timing of such information (Study 2 and Study 3). The results of the literature review and the results of studies 1-3 were combined with data on health professionals' views of health behaviour intervention delivery to young people with cancer (Study 4) to inform the development of a collection of health behaviour change intervention resources containing comprehensive lifestyle information and behaviour change support tools. These intervention resources were then formatively evaluated by TYA cancer survivors and TYA health professionals for relevance, appeal and usability (Study 5). Results demonstrate TYA cancer survivors have a high level of interest in receiving health behaviour change support and would be open to engaging with the proposed intervention materials. The findings from this thesis contribute towards the development of a best practice health behaviour intervention for TYA cancer survivors. Such an intervention could be widely disseminated leading to an improvement in TYA cancer survivorship.