Julie Wolfson: Supporting AYAs Before and After Treatment

The challenges that adolescents and young adults face before and after treatment are all unique to an individual patient, according to Julie Wolfson, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine.

The challenges that adolescents and young adults (AYAs) face before and after treatment are all unique to an individual patient, according to Julie Wolfson, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, who presented findings on the different outcomes between children and AYAs with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at the 59th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.

Transcript

How does social support play a role in outcomes among adolescents and young adults with ALL?

It’s not something that we looked at specifically in terms of social support but I think that it really is important when we look at the fact we saw that the duration of treatment, the length of maintenance treatment is really important. We know that these patients are in a really volatile time in their lives. Everyone comes in with a lot of important things happening in their life and that has been disrupted and so others have shown how important social support is and we’ve shown the importance of the duration of treatment. So together I think that just means that making sure we are paying attention to the social needs of these patients is crucial.

What are the unique challenges facing AYAs after treatment?

There are so many challenges that these patients face that are unique and I think that people are really working hard to try to figure out what we can do to help them. But I think the minute they walk into the door, thinking of them as a unique group of patients is the first thing we can do and just recognizing that their lives have been disrupted in a way that younger patients and older patients don’t experience and trying to understand that unique patient’s needs.