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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Apr;56(4):646-53. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22795. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Health-related quality of life after completion of successful treatment for childhood cancer.

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  • 1Psychosocial Department, Academic Medical Centre/Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. v.engelen@amc.uva.nl



Previous studies have assessed health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during several treatment stages in children with cancer, but there is limited knowledge about HRQOL shortly after completing therapy. This study determined HRQOL of children with cancer shortly after the end of successful treatment compared with normative values.


Several age-specific HRQOL questionnaires were administered: the ITQOL (generic, proxy-report, 0-4 years), CHQ PF 50 (generic, proxy-report, 5-7 years), Kidscreen (generic, self-report, 8-18 years) and Disabkids (chronic generic, self-report, 8-18 years).


Children with cancer (N = 191, mean age 9.25, SD 5.06, 47.1% female) participated. Physical well-being was affected for all ages. Compared to normative values 0- to 7-year-olds were rated significantly lower on the majority of the scales. In addition, 12- to 18-year-olds had significantly better HRQOL than the norm on social scales. Compared to chronically ill norms, 8- to 18-year-olds demonstrated no differences, except for 12- to 18-year-olds who experienced significantly more physical limitations. Additionally, we found that HRQOL of parents of 0- to 7-year-olds was poorer than the norm.


HRQOL in children with cancer and their parents can be impaired compared with the norm. Therefore, HRQOL should be monitored in clinical practice to make paediatric oncologists aware of these problems. For young children, we recommend checking whether certain HRQOL problems can be explained by parental worries. For older children and adolescents, paediatric oncologists need to consider social desirability and the child's adaptive style.

Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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