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Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among pediatric leukemia patients in Malaysia


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to declare.



Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) in pediatric leukemia patients in Malaysia has not been studied before. This was mainly due to a lack of databases on patients in the past. Many patients abandoned treatment or were lost to follow up. With more children now fully compliant and completing treatment nowadays, with higher cure rate, HRQOL has become important for our patients. The purpose of the current study was to determine the HRQOL scores in children with acute leukemia and to compare the scores for those on maintenance chemotherapy with those off-treatment as well as to determine factors which might affect HRQOL.


Seventy-seven children in a pediatric oncology center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia diagnosed with acute leukemia were consecutively enrolled, of whom 22 were on maintenance chemotherapy and 55 off-treatment. The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL™) Scales were used to assess HRQOL.


Children on maintenance chemotherapy had significantly lower child self-report HRQOL scores across all domains (P < 0.001) especially psychosocial health compared with those who were off-treatment. Also, parents with children on maintenance chemotherapy reported significantly lower HRQOL scores across all domains (P < 0.05) except social functioning compared with parents with children off-treatment. Younger child age was associated with lower parent proxy-report total score (P = 0.007)


Pediatric acute leukemia patients on maintenance chemotherapy experienced significantly poorer HRQOL compared to those off-treatment. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2011;57:105–109. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.