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J Am Board Fam Med. 2010 May-Jun;23(3):306-14. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2010.03.090215.

Self-reported health problems of young adults in clinical settings: survivors of childhood cancer and healthy controls.

Author information

1
the Division of Oncology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. schwartzl@email.chop.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Increasing numbers of childhood cancer survivors are being seen in primary care settings as young adults. It is unknown how their self-reported health problems differ from those of healthy young adults. Self-reported health problems of cancer survivors and healthy controls are compared in this study.

METHODS:

156 cancer survivors visiting a cancer survivorship program and 138 controls in primary care centers (mean age, 20 years) completed the Health Knowledge Inventory, a checklist of 35 health problems.

RESULTS:

Cancer survivors reported significantly more health problems than healthy controls (5.6 vs 2.6 problems; P < .001). For cancer survivors, more intense treatment and older age related to Organic/Major problems and Constitutional/Other problems. Female sex related to report of Organic/Major problems and Constitutional/Other problems for the controls. Although at least 20% of both healthy controls and survivors endorsed dermatologic, headache, gastrointestinal, and weight problems, survivors endorsed growth, thyroid, kidney, immunologic, heart, and fertility problems 4-fold over controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cancer survivors endorse significantly more health problems than do healthy controls. However, some problems are reported with equal frequency among the groups. Understanding these similarities and differences between survivors and healthy controls will facilitate patient-centered comprehensive care for young-adult cancer survivors.

PMID:
20453176
PMCID:
PMC2868275
DOI:
10.3122/jabfm.2010.03.090215
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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