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Psychooncology. 2019 Oct;28(10):2009-2016. doi: 10.1002/pon.5183. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Internalizing symptoms in AYA survivors of childhood cancer and matched comparisons.

Author information

1
Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
2
Division of Medical Oncology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
3
Department of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
4
Center for Biobehavioral Health, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.
5
Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
6
Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
7
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

As the number of pediatric cancer survivors increases, so does our need to understand behavioral late effects. Prior studies show mixed results, with some noting increased emotional distress and psychiatric diagnoses in cancer survivors and others suggesting resilience. The purpose of our study was to evaluate internalizing symptoms such as anxiety and depression in young adult survivors of childhood cancer compared with matched classroom matched peers.

METHOD:

We completed a multisource, cross-sectional examination of internalizing symptoms using a semistructured psychiatric interview with 18-year-olds with a history of pediatric cancer compared with age, race, and gender matched classroom peers who had been identified during the survivor's first year of treatment and their primary caregivers.

RESULTS:

Fifty-seven young adult survivors of childhood cancer and 60 comparison peers participated. There were no significant differences between survivors and their peers on the basis of self- or parent-reported depressive or anxiety symptoms or number of psychiatric diagnoses.

CONCLUSIONS:

Young adult survivors of childhood cancer and their parents did not report increased rates of anxiety or depression compared with their former classroom peers. Despite experiencing a major life challenge, this group of young adults with cancer did not report more current or past symptoms of internalizing psychopathology.

KEYWORDS:

cancer; internalizing symptoms; oncology; pediatrics; young adults

PMID:
31325346
DOI:
10.1002/pon.5183

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