Identification of paediatric cancer patients with poor quality of life
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The primary objective was to describe predictors of physical, emotional and social quality of life (QoL) in children receiving active treatment for cancer. This Canadian multi-institutional cross-sectional study included children with cancer receiving any type of active treatment. The primary caregiver provided information on child physical, emotional and social QoL according to the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core scales. Between November 2004 and February 2007, 376 families provided the data. In multiple regression, children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia had better physical health (OR: 0.37, 95% CI 0.23, 0.60; P<0.0001) while intensive chemotherapy treatment (OR: 2.34, 95% CI: 1.42, 3.85; P=0.0008) and having a sibling with a chronic condition (OR: 2.53, 95% CI: 1.54, 4.15; P=0.0002) were associated with poor physical QoL. Better emotional health was associated with good prognosis, less intensive chemotherapy treatment and greater household savings, whereas female children and those with a sibling with a chronic condition had poor social QoL. Physical, emotional and social QoL are influenced by demographic, diagnostic and treatment variables. Sibling and household characteristics are associated with QoL. This information will help to identify children at higher risk of poor QoL during treatment for cancer.
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