Psychological challenges of cancer in adolescents and young adults aged 18-24 years
Teku, Serah Egbe (2019)
Teku, Serah Egbe
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Cancer is a significant public health challenge, and the burdens associated with cancer continue to increase. According to new studies four out of ten people dying prematurely die because of cancer as compared to people dying because of heart diseases, AIDS or strokes. Some people died while others recovered. People who are diagnosed with cancer and undergo treatment are usually at risks of emotional, psychological and social challenges. This study examined the psychological challenges faced by adolescents and young adults (aged between 18 and 24 years) during cancer diagnoses and treatment process. The study also sought to explore the nursing interventions for the psychological challenges. The research employed a systematic literature review that examined relevant scientific journal articles. Data was analyzed through content analysis of data. The findings from the study reveal that when adolescents are fighting cancer, several psychological challenges arise such as rejection, anger, jealousy, anxiety, guilt and loneliness, isolation, fear, frustration, shame, guilt, vulnerability, the alteration of self-image and negative body-image, persistent feelings of worthlessness, sadness, anxiety, and depression. Several nursing interventions have been applied in regard to adolescents suffering cancer including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Psychoeducation, structured counseling, coping skills intervention and behavioral therapy is common. Psychological nursing interventions offer social support, improve resilience to stress, protect one from developing trauma psychopathology that helps in maintaining good mental and physical health.