International Practice Development Journal


Title of Article‘Reaching Out’: international models for transitional care for teenage and young adult cancer patients
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sCharlotte Weston
ReferenceVolume 8, Issue 1, Article 6
Date of PublicationMay 2018
Keywordsadolescent, nursing, oncology, person-centred cultures, practice development, young adult


Background: This article will give an overview of ‘Reaching Out’, a project to identify international models of transitional care for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients.


  • Explore provision of AYA cancer care in a different cultural context
  • Identify new models of care for supporting transition between paediatric, AYA and adult care, and between acute and primary care
  • Identify relevant resources and service designs that could be adapted for use in AYA services in the UK

Methods: Three-week observational visit in a range of international healthcare settings.

Findings: Similarities and differences between Australian and UK healthcare systems were observed. Models of care using a range of resources, including structured health and wellbeing programmes, were identified to support transitional care. Models of collaborative working across organisations were observed. The implementation of innovative programmes to improve efficiency of services and limit unnecessary impact on patient time and finances were identified, including the use of Skype for collaborative consultations between acute and community healthcare providers.

Conclusions: Recommendations to benefit AYA patients with an improved range of supportive, holistic services and improved person-centred care include:

  • Joint AYA nursing posts between AYA centres to support transition
  • Structured AYA post-treatment health and wellbeing programme
  • Programme of creative wellbeing projects to support transition at the end of treatment

Scope use of Skype appointments within the AYA service

Implications for practice:

Observing service provision and healthcare practice in an international setting provides the opportunity to improve cross-cultural competence, which is essential to culturally competent care. Cross-cultural competence supports the improvement of patient care through experiential learning, sharing of ideas and connecting with others. The observational visit provided an opportunity to establish relationships between UK and international AYA services, creating the potential for collaboration in programme development, service improvement and research.

This article by Charlotte Weston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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