Psychological resilience in adolescent and young adult survivors of lower extremity bone tumors

Authors

  • Tanya Teall MA,

    1. The Hospital for Sick Children, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Maru Barrera PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Hospital for Sick Children, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology and Division of Hematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    3. Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Department of Psychology, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X8.
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  • Ronald Barr MB ChB, MD,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    2. McMaster Children's Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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  • Mariana Silva MD,

    1. Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
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  • Mark Greenberg MB ChB

    1. Division of Hematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    3. Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, Ontario, Canada
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  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to declare.

  • M.G. holds the POGO Chair in Childhood Cancer Control at the University of Toronto.

Abstract

Background

The psychosocial outcomes of young adult survivors of childhood bone tumors are not well known. This study: (a) examined perceived social support (SS) and benefit-finding (BF) with respect to surgical intervention, gender, and age; (b) compared SS and psychological outcomes to normative values; and (c) examined the relationship between these social and psychological outcomes and sexual functioning.

Procedure

Twenty-eight participants (18–32 years) completed outcome-specific questionnaires for SS, BF, depression, self-worth, and sexual functioning. Surgical intervention was grouped into limb sparing (LS; allograft-fusion and endoprosthesis) and ablative procedures (AMP; amputation or Van Nes rotationplasty). Age at study was grouped into ≤25 or ≥26 years of age.

Results

Compared to normative values, survivors reported significantly less depressive symptoms (P = 0.005), and higher self-evaluations of intellectual capabilities (P = 0.009). No significant differences in SS and BF were found between surgical and age groups. Males perceived significantly higher SS than females (P = 0.027). Significant positive correlations were found between perceived SS and sexual functioning (r = 0.397), sexual experiences (r = 0.423), and satisfaction with sexual relationships (r = 0.408). Negative correlation was found between global SS and depression scores (r = −0.397). Similar correlations were found with the subscales of the SS, depression, and self-worth measures. BF was significantly positively correlated only to SS (r = 0.552).

Conclusions

Bone tumor survivors, particularly males, demonstrated remarkable psychosocial resiliency with SS possibly serving as a protective factor for survivors' psychological and sexual functioning. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013; 60: 1223–1230. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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