Assessment of health status and health-related quality of life in survivors of Hodgkin's disease in childhood
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Although the great majority of children with Hodgkin's disease survive with modern treatment strategies, the list of late sequelae is long, yet there is no published information on the comprehensive health status and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in this population. In the experience of a single institution, survivors of Hodgkin's disease in childhood were invited to self-report on their health status using a 15-item questionnaire connected to the Health Utilities Index, a series of multi-attribute health status classification systems that, in turn, are linked to preference functions which provide single-attribute and global utility scores for HRQL. The mean global utility score was 0.85 (on a 0 = dead to 1. 0 = perfect health scale), a figure less than that in survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) but comparable to that in survivors of brain tumors (0.84) or extremely low birthweight (ELBW 0.82). The burden of morbidity is emphasized by the ratio of the numbers of health states per patient:0.67 for survivors of Hodgkin's disease, 0.66 for survivors of brain tumors, 0.39 for survivors of ELBW, 0.47 for survivors of high-risk ALL and 0.28 for survivors of standard-risk ALL. In Hodgkin's disease survivors, the attributes affected most commonly and severely were pain, cognition and emotion. This experience demands exploration of the health status and HRQL in a much larger cohort of such survivors, perhaps in the context of co-operative group studies.
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