The domains of practice for Youth Support Co-ordinator work in Teenage/Young Adult Cancer Care in the United Kingdom

Maria Cable

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


1. Introduction and Aims

Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity funds 35 Youth Support Coordinators (YSCs) to work alongside Multi-disciplinary teams (MDT) to keep a youth focus on the care of teenager and young adults (TYA) with cancer. YSC’s bring a wealth of experience of working with young people in various health and non-health related sectors.

Determining how these workers enact YSC work is the focus of this research to identify a competence framework for them, the charity and National Health Service employers to work to.

2. Methods
A mixed methods action research approach using two focus groups (Health Care Professionals (N=7) and TYA with cancer (N=6-8)) and an online questionnaire (YSC’s N=28) was used. Thematic analysis and triangulation ensued. A research steering group ensured consistency with the participatory methodology.

3. Results
The value of the contribution of the YSC is undisputed. Four domains of practice have emerged for inclusion in the framework - 1. TYA development 2. Working with TYA with cancer 3. TYA and the clinical experience 4. Professional practice of YSC work.

4. Discussion and Conclusions
A fundamental domain of practice in YSC work is understanding adolescent development from bio-psycho social perspectives alongside how cancer and its treatment impacts this. Professional practice as a domain focusses on the cultures, rules and practices of working in healthcare systems alongside representing and responding to their funder. Youth focused activities on a one-to-one or group basis that foster the unique psycho-social needs of AYA with cancer is a key domain of YSC work. The therapeutic value they bring is challenged. This has highlighted some educational gaps. Examples include specialized communication skills and accredited learning about TYA Cancer. The provision of supervision and guidance to YSC whose ‘insider/outsider’ perspective adds value to the cancer experience for patients and treating teams, is essential.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018
Event3rd Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Global Accord: Navigating the road through cancer - Sheraton hotel, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 3 Dec 20186 Dec 2018


Conference3rd Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Global Accord
Internet address


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