Adolescent Healthcare

Impact of health on adolescent development.

Historically the life spans of chronically ill adolescents were severely shortened and most of them did not survive past their stage of adolescence. However with ongoing medical advancements and new treatments this is no longer the case and today adolescents who suffer from a number of chronic conditions can now expect to live well beyond this stage. During the 1990’s approximately 75% of paediatric and adolescent cancer sufferers could be treated and cured (Ries et al. 1999). Unfortunately, irrespective of improved survival cancer rates in young people, the disorder and its related side effects will significantly impact their development and in some instances this impact will remain with them for most, if not all, of their lives. During this stage of adolescence whereby the young person moves from childhood into physical maturity, usually between the ages of 12 to 18, there are key physical and mental developmental milestones which occur (Cromer 2011). This paper will analyse the impact of cancer, a chronic condition, on two specific developmental aspects of an adolescent; these aspects being social development and sexuality.

In order to perform the analysis this paper will focus on a 16 year old adolescent, Jason Lee, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) seven months ago. Jason has given his expressed consent for his case to be the focus of this assignment.   In accordance   with Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008), which requires the assurance of patient confidentiality, his real name has not been used. The paper includes various nursing considerations which should be applied and some which were   applied in his care, both whilst he is in hospital and also beyond that to when he is back home and in the community.

Forecasts for adolescents, like Jason, suffering from ALL are now not only conceivable but have also dramatically improved; the gain in the overall 5 year paediatric survival rate...