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Pediatrics. 2007 Nov;120(5):e1229-36.

Hearing loss, quality of life, and academic problems in long-term neuroblastoma survivors: a report from the Children's Oncology Group.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan, 300 N Ingalls St, Room 6E02, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. jamegurn@umich.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Among a cohort of long-term neuroblastoma survivors, our aims were to (1) assess the association between treatment intensity and parent-reported hearing loss in the child, (2) evaluate the strength of the association between hearing loss and parent-reported academic and psychosocial difficulties in the child, and (3) examine the association between parent-reported academic and psychosocial difficulties in the child and the child's self-reported quality of life.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Through a mailed survey that included the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 and an outcomes questionnaire for parents, we evaluated 137 children (aged 8-17 years) who were previously enrolled in 1 of 2 Children's Cancer Group neuroblastoma clinical studies.

RESULTS:

Childhood survivors of neuroblastoma who had prevalent hearing loss, as reported by their parents, had at least twice the risk of an identified problem with reading skills, math skills, and/or attention and a similarly higher risk of a general learning disability and/or special educational needs than did neuroblastoma survivors without hearing loss. Consistent with this finding, hearing loss was associated with a 10-point-lower mean score in the school-functioning scale of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0. We also observed a clear pattern of poorer self-reported quality-of-life scores among children with parent-reported academic and psychosocial problems compared with those without such problems, particularly with school functioning, even after controlling for reported hearing loss.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found evidence that long-term neuroblastoma survivors, especially those with hearing loss, are at elevated risk for academic learning problems and psychosocial difficulties. We also found strong concordance between parent-reported learning problems in the child and indications of distress in the child's self-reported quality of life.

PMID:
17974716
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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