The aging of the U.S. population continues to highlight emerging issues in providing care generally for older adults and specifically for older adults with cancer. The majority of patients with cancer in the U.S. are currently 65. years of age or older; therefore, training and research in geriatrics and geriatric oncology are viewed to be integral in meeting the needs of this vulnerable population. Yet, the ways to develop and integrate best geriatrics training within the context of hematology/oncology fellowship remain unclear. Toward this end, the current study seeks to evaluate the prior and current geriatric experiences and perspectives of hematology/oncology fellows. To gain insight into these experiences, focus groups of hematology/oncology fellows were conducted. Emergent themes included: 1) perceived lack of formal geriatric oncology didactics among fellows; 2) a considerable amount of variability exists in pre-fellowship geriatric experiences; 3) shared desire to participate in a geriatric oncology-based clinic; 4) differences across training levels in confidence in managing older adults with cancer; and 5) identification of specific criteria on how best to approach older adults with cancer in a particular clinical scenario. The present findings will help guide future studies in evaluating geriatrics among hematology/oncology fellows across institutions. They will also have implications in the development of geriatrics curricula and competencies specific to hematology/oncology training.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology