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Rehabilitation interventions for young adult cancer survivors: A scoping review.

OBJECTIVE: To map existing research concerning rehabilitation interventions for young adult cancer survivors (YACS) that address at least one factor from the biopsychosocial health model.

DESIGN: Scoping review.

DATA SOURCES: Searches were performed in EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Cochrane in January 2022 and updated in March 2023, and grey literature between February and April 2022.

METHODS: The review followed Joanna Briggs Institute's methodology for scoping reviews. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods studies evaluating interventions for YACS of any cancer who had completed primary treatment and were between 18 and 39 years old at diagnosis were included. Two authors independently screened studies for eligibility, and standardised forms were used for data extraction. Descriptive statistics, narrative summaries and thematic analysis were used to analyse the data.

RESULTS: The search revealed 5706 records, of which 70 were full-text screened. The 20 included studies represented a heterogeneous group of 444 young adults with different cancer types, mean age above 25, and an overrepresentation of females. Most studies were feasibility and pilot studies. The 20 studies consisted of 14 unique interventions focusing primarily on one dimension of the biopsychosocial health model like biological or psychological factors. In the 14 interventions, the most frequent intervention element was peer-to-peer support ( n  = 12). The interventions were often delivered online ( n  = 9), lasting 3-12 months ( n  = 8). A wide variety of theories, providers and outcome measures were used.

CONCLUSION: The results show that current research on multicomponent, biopsychosocial and age-specific rehabilitation for YACS remains at an early stage.

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