Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with the development of serious health consequences in children with cancer due to preexisting disease and treatment-related vulnerabilities. The purpose of the current investigation was to identify predictors of non-participation in a randomized intervention trial to reduce ETS exposure among pediatric cancer patients.
One hundred fifty-three families of pediatric cancer patients met study eligibility criteria. Parents of 117 (76%) patients agreed to study participation, whereas 36 (24%) parents declined (non-participants). Data were collected with respect to participant sociodemographic, medical, and treatment-related characteristics.
Univariate analyses indicated that families whose primary caregivers were females or smokers were more likely to be non-participants in the ETS reduction trial (P = 0.045 and P = 0.009, respectively). Medical features that significantly associated with study non-participation included CNS tumor diagnosis (P = 0.030), no history of chemotherapy (P = 0.012), history of surgery prior to study recruitment (P = 0.036), and having future radiation therapy planned post study recruitment (P = 0.009). Multivariable logistic regression modeling revealed that study non-participation was associated with the primary caregiver being a smoker (OR = 6.48, P = 0.002) or female (OR = 8.56, P = 0.023), and patient CNS tumor diagnosis (OR = 4.63, P = 0.021).
Although a large percentage of eligible participants enrolled in the ETS reduction trial, findings suggest that future recruitment strategies of families should be tailored to parental smoking status and gender, as well as child diagnosis and treatment. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2009;52:644–649. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.