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What Constitutes Quality of Life? Perspectives of Adolescents and Young Adults With Advanced Cancer

Jane Hinkle, Lori Wiener, Andrea Altschuler, Katharine E. Brock, Mallory Casperson, Chun R. Chao, Lauren Fisher, Lawrence H. Kushi, Joshua R. Lakin, Anna Lefebvre, Corey M. Schwartz, Dov M. Shalman, Catherine B. Wall, and Jennifer W. Mack

Background: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with advanced cancer identify maintaining a good quality of life (QoL) as a central goal of end-of-life care. QoL is a dynamic and subjective overarching concept that refers to an individual’s relative satisfaction with their own life. Despite its importance to AYAs with advanced cancer, a patient-centered definition of QoL is lacking in this population. Patients and Methods: This qualitative secondary analysis of semistructured interviews was conducted across 3 institutions and 1 online support community among AYA patients with advanced cancer, family caregivers, and health care providers who cared for living or recently deceased AYAs. Interviewees were asked about priorities in receipt of care. Interviews were transcribed using NVivo software for primary analysis, and previously coded excerpts were screened for references to QoL. Relevant excerpts were sorted into organizing domains. Results: Participants included 23 AYA patients, 28 family caregivers, and 29 health care providers (including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, and psychologists). Four domains of QoL were identified: psychosocial and physical well-being, dignity, normalcy, and personal and family relationships. Within each domain there was agreement across AYAs, caregivers, and health care providers, with nuanced perspectives provided by AYAs of different ages. Personal and family relationships was the most frequently referenced domain of QoL among all participants. A common feature of each domain was that adaptation to current circumstances impacted perspectives on QoL. Patients valued active participation in the development of a care plan that supported these domains. Conclusions: AYAs with advanced cancer, their caregivers, and health care providers agree on several broad domains of QoL in this population. To provide high-quality, patient-centered care, care plans should integrate these domains to enable AYAs to maximize their QoL throughout their advanced cancer care.

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Kidney Cancer

Robert J. Motzer, Neeraj Agarwal, Clair Beard, Graeme B. Bolger, Barry Boston, Michael A. Carducci, Toni K. Choueiri, Robert A. Figlin, Mayer Fishman, Steven L. Hancock, Gary R. Hudes, Eric Jonasch, Anne Kessinger, Timothy M. Kuzel, Paul H. Lange, Ellis G. Levine, Kim A. Margolin, M. Dror Michaelson, Thomas Olencki, Roberto Pili, Bruce G. Redman, Cary N. Robertson, Lawrence H. Schwartz, Joel Sheinfeld, and Jue Wang

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Testicular Cancer

Robert J. Motzer, Neeraj Agarwal, Clair Beard, Graeme B. Bolger, Barry Boston, Michael A. Carducci, Toni K. Choueiri, Robert A. Figlin, Mayer Fishman, Steven L. Hancock, Gary R. Hudes, Eric Jonasch, Anne Kessinger, Timothy M. Kuzel, Paul H. Lange, Ellis G. Levine, Kim A. Margolin, M. Dror Michaelson, Thomas Olencki, Roberto Pili, Bruce G. Redman, Cary N. Robertson, Lawrence H. Schwartz, Joel Sheinfeld, and Jue Wang