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Psychological distress in adult survivors of childhood cancer: the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor study


Michel, G; Rebholz, C E; von der Weid, N X; Bergsträsser, E; Kuehni, C E (2010). Psychological distress in adult survivors of childhood cancer: the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 28(10):1740-1748.

Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the degree of psychological distress in adult childhood cancer survivors in Switzerland and to characterize survivors with significant distress.

METHODS: Childhood cancer survivors who were age younger than 16 years when diagnosed between 1976 and 2003, had survived more than 5 years, and were currently age 20 years or older received a postal questionnaire. Psychological distress was assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Raw scores were transformed into T scores according to the German norm sample, and the proportion of participants being at increased risk for psychological distress was calculated (case rule: T > or = 63). t tests and univariable and multivariable logistic regressions were used for statistical analyses.

RESULTS: One thousand seventy-six survivors (63.% of eligible survivors, 71.9% of contacted survivors) returned the questionnaire, 987 with complete data on BSI. Comparison with the norm populations showed lower T scores (T < 50) in the Global Severity Index (GSI; T = 46.2), somatization (T = 47.6), obsessive-compulsive tendencies (T = 46.9), and anxiety (T = 48.4). However, more childhood cancer survivors (especially women) had increased distress for GSI (14.4%), interpersonal sensitivity (16.5%), depression (13.4%), aggression (16.9%), and psychotic tendencies (15.6%) than the expected 10% from the norm population. Caseness was associated with female sex, being a single child, older age at study, and self-reported late effects, especially psychological problems.

CONCLUSION: Results show that childhood cancer survivors, on average, have less psychological distress than a norm population but that the proportion of survivors at risk for high psychological distress is disproportionally large. Monitoring psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors may be desirable during routine follow-up, and psychological support should be offered as needed.

Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the degree of psychological distress in adult childhood cancer survivors in Switzerland and to characterize survivors with significant distress.

METHODS: Childhood cancer survivors who were age younger than 16 years when diagnosed between 1976 and 2003, had survived more than 5 years, and were currently age 20 years or older received a postal questionnaire. Psychological distress was assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Raw scores were transformed into T scores according to the German norm sample, and the proportion of participants being at increased risk for psychological distress was calculated (case rule: T > or = 63). t tests and univariable and multivariable logistic regressions were used for statistical analyses.

RESULTS: One thousand seventy-six survivors (63.% of eligible survivors, 71.9% of contacted survivors) returned the questionnaire, 987 with complete data on BSI. Comparison with the norm populations showed lower T scores (T < 50) in the Global Severity Index (GSI; T = 46.2), somatization (T = 47.6), obsessive-compulsive tendencies (T = 46.9), and anxiety (T = 48.4). However, more childhood cancer survivors (especially women) had increased distress for GSI (14.4%), interpersonal sensitivity (16.5%), depression (13.4%), aggression (16.9%), and psychotic tendencies (15.6%) than the expected 10% from the norm population. Caseness was associated with female sex, being a single child, older age at study, and self-reported late effects, especially psychological problems.

CONCLUSION: Results show that childhood cancer survivors, on average, have less psychological distress than a norm population but that the proportion of survivors at risk for high psychological distress is disproportionally large. Monitoring psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors may be desirable during routine follow-up, and psychological support should be offered as needed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:14 Jan 2011 20:23
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 04:50
Publisher:American Society of Clinical Oncology
ISSN:0732-183X
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2009.23.4534
PubMed ID:20194864

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