A review of the literature was conducted using PubMed and PsycINFO databases, which were searched using the following key terms: posttraumatic stress; posttraumatic stress disorder; adolescent; young adult; cancer; and cancer survivor.

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Studies meeting the following inclusion criteria were included in the review:

  1. published within the last 20 years
  2. had sample sizes of at least 20 individuals
  3. conducted in the United States
  4. used DSM criteria in the assessment of PTSD and psychometrically-sound measures in the assessment of PTSS
  5. reported the prevalence of PTSD and/or PTSS
  6. used samples of childhood cancer survivors in adolescence/ young adulthood and/or survivors of AYA cancer

Criterion 6 was applied to examine the potential differences in prevalence between cases where initial diagnosis was thought to be directly disruptive to AYA development and cases where the impact was thought to endure into AYA survivor years.

The rationale for including both populations was also based on the fact that common AYA malignancies have considerable overlap with both pediatric and adult cancers.8 In accord with the aims of this paper, the methodological characteristics of the 23 reviewed studies are presented, followed by a description of the overall occurrence of posttraumatic stress responses among AYA cancer survivors. An overview of the studies reviewed can be found in Table 2.

(To view a larger version of Table 2, click here: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3)

(To view a larger version of Table 2, click here: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3)