Adolescent Cancer Survivors’ Oncology Camp Experience

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2021-09-30
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Walker, Katie
Lippard, Christine
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The Author(s); Association of Child Life Professionals
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Abstract
To date, literature has documented psychosocial benefits for adolescent cancer survivors (ACS) who attend oncology camps; however, few take a detailed look into the uniqueness of the social phenomena that occurs within the camp context. Therefore, this study utilizes an interpretive phenomenological approach to explore: (1) What is the lived support experience of adolescent cancer survivors attending a one-week oncology camp? and (2) What is the meaning of social support to adolescent cancer survivors in the context of an oncology camp? A total of 16 ACS (ages 11 to 19) attending a week-long oncology camp participated in the study. Key findings shed light on the importance of peer relationships with other ACS, as ACS felt a deeper connection with others who have experienced cancer, rather than others who had not. Furthermore, these interactions facilitated a positive sense of self as a cancer survivor.
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This article is published as Walker, K., Lippard, C., Adolescent Cancer Survivors' Oncology Camp Experience., The Journal of Child Life: Psychosocial Theory and Practice, 2021 2(2). Posted with permission.
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adolescent cancer survivor, oncology camp, peers, identity
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