Adolescents and young adults

Finella Craig and Victoria Lidstone

in Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199595105
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665020 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks In Palliative Medicine

Adolescents and young adults

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Young adults with palliative care needs form a distinct group with physical, emotional, psychological, and social needs that are significantly different from those of either children or mature adults. They are neither ‘large children’ nor ‘small adults’, but form a continuum (adolescence) during which their needs as children are evolving into those of adults, culminating in the formation of an established adult identity. Their demands for symptom management are often complex, but perhaps no more so than in other age groups. Therefore in this chapter we wish to focus on the unique needs of this specific group of young people. We shall explore key processes in adolescent development and the ways in which a lifelimiting or life-threatening illness can affect these. The task for professionals is to deliver palliative care while supporting and respecting the transition from child to adult and the challenges that this brings. Some of our patients will die before the transition to adulthood is completed, while others will survive, but with adult identities that have been built on very different experiences and principles from those of their peers.

Chapter.  10326 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics ; Palliative Medicine

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