AYA COPE Initiative (Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Community Outreach Program Education
Project Funding: Long School of Medicine Children’s Health Pilot
Name of Project: AYA COPE (Adolescent and Young Adult Community Outreach Program Education)
This project included the development and dissemination of an “AYA Landscape survey”. This survey was sent out to pediatric and adult primary care providers and oncologists in all of South Texas (defined by dept of Health and Human Services Public Health Region 8; 22 counties) in order to identify challenges in caring for, referring, or access to services for adolescents and young adults with cancer, including access to clinical trials and supportive care.
As we continue to develop AYA-specific care programming for our community, we aim to ensure our targeted priorities are responsive to the needs identified by local providers and to our unique population of AYA here in South Texas.
In addition, the project includes the establishment of a South Texas AYA Community Advisory Board, comprised of 27 key stakeholders across the region invested in the improvement in care and outcomes for AYAs, including pediatric and adult oncologists who care for these patients, local philanthropists and non-profit leaders with missions that target AYAs, educational leaders across community college districts, and of course AYA survivors and family member advocates. These individuals will contribute to development of community programs and initiatives for AYAs.
Impact of Bedside Art Media on Self-Reported Symptoms in Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) with Cancer
Project Title: Impact of Bedside Art Media on Self-Reported Symptoms in Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) with Cancer
The cancer experience may feel isolating and overwhelming for many adolescents and young adults, leading to physical, mental and emotional changes and new challenges that are unique to this age group. Finding constructive ways to process these sudden changes can be difficult. We aim to improve the care we provide to hospitalized adolescents and young adults with cancer who may feel isolated, overwhelmed, and may be also dealing with uncomfortable side effects of therapy. The hospital is no place for young people! Thus, we are exploring how bedside art media impacts self-reported symptoms among AYAs.
We know from studies in other populations that participation in art and music during illness is associated with improvements in patient-reported pain, anxiety and depression.
This project will offer hospitalized AYAs in our program:
The opportunity to experience painting, drawing, singing, music, learning to play and instrument, journaling and other forms of art media right at the bedside in individual and group formats
Assess changes in symptoms before and after the activities
Patients will be asked to complete a brief survey at the time of hospital admission and hospital discharge
Survey results will be reviewed to determine which symptoms bedside art activities have the most impact on, whether this impact is seen with certain types of art activities over others and whether certain patients report greater benefit (for example those with leukemias versus solid tumors) or for certain hospitalization types (such as those receiving chemotherapy vs those hospitalized for acute illness). Results will be used to improve supportive care and bedside activities provided to AYA cancer patients.
Visit Heart Needs Art, a non-profit group that allows our AYAs to participate in virtual sessions with local artists.