Medical follow-up visits in adults 5–25 years after treatment for childhood acute leukaemia, lymphoma or Wilms’ tumour

Authors


Johan Arvidson, Uppsala University Children's Hospital, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. Tel: +46 18 611 90 60. Fax: +46 18 611 55 83. E-mail: johan.arvidson@kbh.uu.se

Abstract

Aim: One aspect of organizing medical follow-up for adult survivors of childhood cancer is to determine to what extent the former patient experiences a need for health services. In the present paper, we studied how the healthcare needs, both subjectively and objectively, were fulfilled for our former patients. Methods: 335 survivors over 18 y of age, with a follow-up time of more than 5 y after completion of therapy, were sent a questionnaire probing their present use of health services. Results: The response rate was 73%. A majority (60%) of the survivors had no regular follow-up visits, and 42% of these reported that they missed not having one. More than one third were thus far dissatisfied with the follow-up programme. Only 3% of those who had regular follow-ups found them “unnecessary”. Complaints subjectively related to their diseases or treatments were reported by 47%. Out of all responders, 34% did not miss having regular follow-up visits. Neither perceived disease-related complaints nor radiation therapy was a predictor for having a scheduled follow-up visit.

Conclusion: In the absence of a long-term follow-up programme, many survivors were not receiving proper medical healthcare, whether from their perspective or from a professional one.

Ancillary