A Systematic Review of the Psychosocial Measures Used in Teenage and Young Adult Cancer

Katie Hughes*, Laura Blackett, Clare Jacobson, Susie M D Henley, Ewan Carr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Teenagers and young adults (TYAs; ages 16-24 in the UK) with cancer have specific needs and experience worse physiological and psychological outcomes compared to paediatric and adult cancer. In the UK, psychosocial screening is a mandatory part of TYA care. However, there is a lack of age-appropriate and acceptable psychosocial measures for this population. This review aimed to (i) identify the psychosocial measures utilised and available for TYA cancer and (ii) describe their psychometric properties.

We searched five databases for studies meeting eligibility criteria. We extracted data relevant to the review and assessed study quality using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) guidelines and the Hughes Quality Assessment Tool developed by the research team.

We identified 40 studies which included 105 psychosocial measures. The main constructs measured were distress, depression, and anxiety. The TYA age range varied widely. Reporting of psychosocial measures and their psychometric properties was poor, and most measures were not validated or developed for TYA cancer populations.

There is an urgent need for psychosocial measures that are designed for and validated in TYA cancer populations. Appropriate measures would enable clinicians to reliably identify and effectively support the psychosocial challenges faced by TYAs. The use of validated psychosocial measures enables earlier detection of difficulties, fosters patient-centred care, and is cost-effective since resources can be allocated to those most in need.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jun 2023


  • Teenager
  • Young Adult
  • Cancer
  • Psychosocial Measure


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