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Comparison of psychosocial adaptations among childhood cancer survivors, their siblings and peers in Taiwan

Published:November 04, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2022.10.012

      Highlights

      • No significant difference in psychosocial adaption between survivors and healthy peers / siblings.
      • Adolescent cancer survivors with high BMI have less psychological adaptation than those with low BMI.
      • Type of cancer/ length of completed cancer treatment can predictelementary school-aged cancer survivors' psychosocial adapation.
      • Cancer survivors' psychological adaptation is negatively related to their social adaptation.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      This study aimed to understand the difference in psychosocial adaptation among childhood cancer survivors, their healthy siblings and peers, and the factors affecting the psychosocial adaptation of these cancer survivors.

      Design and methods

      A total of 222 children (ages 8–17) including childhood cancer survivors, their siblings, and healthy peers participated in this cross-sectional study. All the children completed the anxiety and quality of life scales for their age groups.

      Results

      Anxiety levels and quality of life were similar among the childhood cancer survivors, their siblings, and their peers. The anxiety of elementary school-age survivors of acute leukemia was higher than that of those with solid tumors. Elementary school-age survivors who completed three or more years of treatment had lower anxiety than those who completed treatment within the three years. For adolescent survivors, the higher their body mass index, the higher their anxiety, which was associated with low quality of life. Those diagnosed with anxiety and at an older age had lower quality of life.

      Conclusions

      Although there were no differences in survivors' psychosocial adaptation compared to their siblings and healthy peers, more than half of these adolescents had moderate to severe anxiety. Future study may need to explore the causes of their anxiety.

      Practice implications

      During the follow-ups of the childhood cancer survivors, age-specific adaptive strategies can be discussed to reduce their anxiety and improve their quality of life.

      Keywords

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      Further reading

        • Spielberger C.D.
        • Edwards C.D.
        • Lushene R.
        • Monturoi J.
        • Platzek D.
        State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children sampler set: Manual, test booklet, and scoring key. Mind Garden, 1973