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Pediatr Int. 2017 Nov;59(11):1140-1150. doi: 10.1111/ped.13390.

Childhood cancer survivors: Anxieties felt after treatment and the need for continued support.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Medicine, Density, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan.
2
Deparment of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.
3
Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
4
Graduate School of Health Science, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) and their family members continue to live in fear even after treatment is concluded due to concerns about late effects and recurrences. The consequent long-term psychological burden requires long-term follow up suited to the anxieties and needs of CCS, hence the need for the present survey.

METHODS:

We conducted a questionnaire survey at medical facilities in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions of Japan with CCS who had survived for at least 5 years following treatment, and their family members.

RESULTS:

A total of 30 CCS (53%) and 27 CCS family members (47%) answered the questionnaires. The median age of the CCS and their family members (CCS parents) was 23 years and 51.5 years, respectively. The most common diagnosis was acute lymphoblastic leukemia (47%) and the median length of follow up after the conclusion of treatment was 11 years. The percentage of participants who responded that they knew about late effects was significantly lower among CCS than among CCS parents. Almost no significant difference was observed between CCS and CCS parents regarding anxieties at specific life stages. The main consultants for CCS and CCS parents were their family, but they sought opportunities for casual consultation for current worries outside the family.

CONCLUSIONS:

It is necessary for medical facilities not only to provide medical support, but also to establish a place where they can provide centralized consultation for the anxieties of CCS and their parents.

KEYWORDS:

anxiety; childhood cancer; consultation; family care; survivor

PMID:
28815860
DOI:
10.1111/ped.13390
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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