Quality of life during active treatment for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia
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The objectives of the study were to describe quality of life (QoL), identify predictors of worse QoL and examine QoL during different phases of active therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). A multiinstitutional cross-sectional study was performed in children with ALL. We included children at least 2 months from diagnosis who were receiving treatment in first remission. Parents described QoL using the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales and the PedsQL 3.0 Acute Cancer Module. The 206 children on treatment for ALL had overall [median 62.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 34.8-94.4], physical (median 62.5, 95% CI 18.8-100.0) and psychosocial (median 65.4, 95% CI 38.3-94.2) summary scores that were one to two standard deviations lower than population norms. In high-risk ALL, girls and older children had worse QoL. In standard-risk ALL, those with lower household incomes and unmarried parents had worse QoL. QoL scores were generally constant across phases of ALL therapy. Children on therapy for ALL have lower QoL compared to healthy children. Age and gender predicted QoL in high-risk ALL, whereas socioeconomics predicted QoL in standard-risk ALL. Future efforts should focus on longitudinal studies that describe QoL over time within individual patients.
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