To explore living with heritable retinoblastoma, specifically survivors’ perceived role of regular follow-up at a retinoblastoma survivorship clinic.
Methods and analysis
Adult survivors of heritable retinoblastoma were recruited from the Retinoblastoma Survivorship Clinic, Aarhus University Hospital. Ten survivors participated in individual explorative, semistructured interviews. Thematic data analysis was conducted.
Five key themes relating to vision, social life, family, second cancer risk and the healthcare system were identified. Subthemes relating to the Retinoblastoma Survivorship Clinic included the retinoblastoma coordinator, cancer risk, psychosocial support and genetic knowledge. The retinoblastoma-related physical and psychosocial issues influenced survivors’ everyday living; however, the opportunity to live a normal life varied considerably, with the majority experiencing no major limitations. The need for specialised management and a coordinator was emphasised to be the main value of the Retinoblastoma Survivorship Clinic.
Despite reporting an overall normal life and no major limitations in daily living activities, our data confirm that heritable retinoblastoma impacts several aspects of daily living. Uniquely, this study demonstrates that the main value of the Retinoblastoma Survivorship Clinic was a specialised contact person and coordinator in the healthcare system, providing continuous and necessary management and guidance after retinoblastoma treatment, and for all aspects of health related to heritable retinoblastoma. The needs of heritable retinoblastoma survivors are complex and extensive, and the specific role of the healthcare system to support survivorship should be prioritised, specialised and multidisciplinary.