Background: Participation of Adolescents and Young Adults with cancer (AYAs: 18–39 years at time of diagnosis) in patient-reported outcome studies is warranted given the limited knowledge of (long-term) physical and psychosocial health outcomes. We examined the representativeness of AYAs participating in the study, to observe the impact of various invitation methods on response rates and reasons for non-participation. Methods: A population-based, cross-sectional cohort study was performed among long-term (5–20 years) AYA cancer survivors. All participants were invited using various methods to fill in a questionnaire on their health outcomes, including enclosing a paper version of the questionnaire, and sending a reminder. Those who did not respond received a postcard in which they were asked to provide a reason for non-participation. Results: In total, 4.010 AYAs (response 36%) participated. Females, AYAs with a higher socio-economic status (SES), diagnosed more than 10 years ago, diagnosed with a central nervous system tumor, sarcoma, a lymphoid malignancy, stage III, or treated with systemic chemotherapy were more likely to participate. Including a paper questionnaire increased the response rate by 5% and sending a reminder by 13%. AYAs who did not participate were either not interested (47%) or did want to be reminded of their cancer (31%). Conclusions: Study participation was significantly lower among specific subgroups of AYA cancer survivors. Higher response rates were achieved when a paper questionnaire was included, and reminders were sent. To increase representativeness of future AYA study samples, recruitment strategies could focus on integrating patient-reported outcomes in clinical practice and involving AYA patients to promote participation in research.
- adolescents and young adults with cancer (AYAs)
- health-related outcomes
- patient-reported outcomes
- population-based research
- recruitment strategies