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Klin Padiatr. 2000 Jul-Aug;212(4):211-5.

Quality of life in children and adolescents with cancer. First results of an evaluation of 49 patients with the PEDQOL questionnaire.

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  • 1Department of Ped. Hematology and Oncology, University Children's Hospital, Düsseldorf. Calaminus@med.uni-duesseldorf.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The assessment of Quality of Life (QoL) in childhood cancer survivors is a new field of research, which is important for a better understanding of how children with cancer feel and how treatment can be optimized. The purpose of our examination in a sample of patients treated in our institution was the evaluation of the questions: How do children with cancer reflect on their QoL in comparison to healthy children of the same age? Are there any significant differences in QoL between children with hematological disorders and children with solid tumors and if that is so, which domains are affected?

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We used for the evaluation a pilotversion of a self-rating QoL questionnaire for children between 8 and 18 years (PEDQOL), who was developed for pediatric oncology. 49 children off treatment of whom 51% had leukemia/lymphoma and 49% had solid tumors compared to 62 healthy school children were examined.

RESULTS:

The PEDQOL questionnaire was a good accepted measure among the examined children. The reliability scores of the pilotform for the evaluated domains were also satisfactory (Cronbach's-Alpha > 0.60). In general QoL was scored good by healthy as well as by ill children. In the group of children with leukemia/lymphoma impairment of QoL was more apparent than in children with solid tumors (domains autonomy, emotional functioning, cognition and familial interactions). Survivors of solid tumors reported less impairment of QoL which was mainly seen in physical functioning and body image.

CONCLUSION:

In general QoL scored with the PEDQOL pilotquestionnaire was good for most of the childhood cancer survivors. Children with solid tumors show less impairment than children with leukemia/lymphoma. Therefore it could be suggested, that young age at diagnosis and the following longer period of being dependent on familial support, the isolation from peer groups and the longer way to become independent may be reflected by these results. To obtain reliable results how children with cancer express their QoL and what consequences illness, treatment and long term effects of therapy have on the childrens' QoL a multicenter prospective study is needed. This will be realized in the near future in a project on "Long term effects and quality of life in children with leukemia or medulloblastoma", which is supported by the "Kompetenznetz Pädiatrische Onkologie and Hämatologie".

PMID:
10994553
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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