Association between the prevalence of symptoms and health-related quality of life in adult survivors of childhood cancer: A report from the st jude lifetime cohort study

Academic Article


  • Purpose We investigated the association between prevalence of symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adult survivors of childhood cancer enrolled in the St Jude Lifetime Cohort study. Methods Eligibility criteria include childhood malignancy treated at St Jude, survival > 10 years from diagnosis, and current age ≥ 18 years. Study participants were 1,667 survivors (response rate = 65%). Symptoms were self-reported by using a comprehensive health questionnaire and categorized into 12 classes: cardiac; pulmonary; motor/movement; pain in head; pain in back/neck; pain involving sites other than head, neck, and back; sensation abnormalities; disfigurement; learning/memory; anxiety; depression; and somatization. HRQOL was measured by using physical/ mental component summary (PCS/MCS) and six domain scores of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. Multivariable regression analysis was performed to investigate associations between symptom classes and HRQOL. Cumulative prevalence of symptom classes in relation to time from diagnosis was estimated. Results Pain involving sites other than head, neck and back, and disfigurement represented the most frequent symptom classes, endorsed by 58.7% and 56.3% of survivors, respectively. Approximately 87% of survivors reported multiple symptom classes. Greater symptom prevalence was associated with poorer HRQOL. In multivariable analysis, symptom classes explained up to 60% of the variance in PCS and 56% of the variance in MCS; demographic and clinical variables explained up to 15% of the variance in PCS and 10% of the variance in MCS. Longer time since diagnosis was associated with higher cumulative prevalence in all symptom classes. Conclusion A large proportion of survivors suffered from many symptom classes, which was associated with HRQOL impairment. © 2013 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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    Author List

  • Huang IC; Brinkman TM; Kenzik K; Gurney JG; Ness KK; Lanctot J; Shenkman E; Robison LL; Hudson MM; Krull KR
  • Start Page

  • 4242
  • End Page

  • 4251
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 33