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Investigating the determinants of health-related quality of life among childhood cancer survivors

Authors


M.A. Cantrell: e-mail: mary.ann.cantrell@villanova.edu

Abstract

Title. Investigating the determinants of health-related quality of life among childhood cancer survivors.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to survey early childhood cancer survivors’ perceived health-related quality of life and its determinants and to estimate the reliability of known psychometric scales used in the measurement of these determinants.

Background.  Young adult survivors of childhood cancer are considered to be a high-risk, vulnerable population for experiencing medical and psychosocial sequelae from their treatment that can adversely affect their health-related quality of life. Achieving an adequate level of health-related quality of life among childhood cancer survivors has been identified as a significant outcome in measuring the success of cancer treatment for these survivors throughout the world.

Method.  An on-line survey approach was used, and data were collected from December 2005 to May 2006 in the United States of America. Specific determinants measured were physical health status, perceived sense of hopefulness, self-esteem, social support and affect. The internal consistency of the instruments to measure these constructs among early survivors of childhood cancer was evaluated.

Findings.  Early survivors of childhood cancer had a lower level of health-related quality of life, perceived self-esteem, physical health status and social support when compared with previously reported findings among samples of adolescents in active treatment for cancer, healthy same-age peers and other samples of childhood cancer survivors.

Conclusion.  Investigations using web-based approaches to measure determinants of health-related quality of life among young adult survivors of childhood cancer have the potential to include international samples of childhood cancer survivors.

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