Health status and health-related quality of life in adolescent survivors of cancer in childhood
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PURPOSE: Adolescent survivors of cancer in childhood face particular challenges due to their maturational trajectory, including psychosocial adjustments, self-help skills, intellectual functioning and socialization. To better understand these, we assessed the health status and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in a 20-year cohort of such survivors in a single institution. METHODS: Health status and HRQL were measured with a self-complete questionnaire from the Health Utilities Index (HUI) family of multi-attribute, preference-based instruments that provide utility scores for single attributes and overall HRQL. RESULTS: Eighty-four (42 males, 42 females) of 129 eligible subjects (65%) participated. More than 80% of the respondents reported some form of morbidity. Overall HRQL utility scores were lower for both the males and females than for corresponding members of the Canadian general population. Female survivors self-reported a significantly greater burden of morbidity (mean overall HUI2/HUI3 scores: .83/.73 vs. .90/.84 for males, p < .02), which was most evident in the attributes of emotion and cognition. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of adolescent survivors of cancer in childhood carry a morbidity burden into their teen and young adult years. These findings may guide the support required by this population.
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