Objective Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) diagnosed with cancer between 15 and 39 years of age often report need for greater amounts of cancer-related information and perceive that cancer has had a negative impact on control over their life. We examined whether unmet information need and perceived control over life are associated with health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Methods We examined data from 484 AYA cancer survivors recruited from population-based cancer registries in 2007-2008. Participants completed surveys a median of 11 months after diagnosis. Multivariable linear regression analyses estimated associations of unmet cancer-related information needs and impact of cancer on control over life on HRQOL (SF-12). Results Two-thirds of AYAs reported an intermediate or high level of unmet information need, and half (47%) reported a negative impact of cancer on control. Greater unmet information need was associated with lower overall mental and physical HRQOL and lower levels of all HRQOL subscales except vitality. A negative impact on control over life was associated with lower overall mental HRQOL as well as lower HRQOL across all subscales except general health perceptions (all p <0.05). In multivariable analyses, perceived control and unmet information need were independently associated with HRQOL (p-values for interaction >0.1). Conclusions Adolescent and young adult patients with cancer have high levels of unmet cancer-related information needs and perceived negative impact of cancer on control over life; both were independently associated with lower HRQOL. Addressing unmet information needs among AYA cancer survivors and finding ways to increase their sense of control may help improve HRQOL in this understudied population.
- adolescent and young adult (AYA)
- cancer survivor
- health-related quality of life (HRQOL)
- information need