Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the psychometric and psychosocial profile of children and adolescents survivors of pediatric cancer to that of healthy controls.
Methods: Children and adolescents survivors of pediatric cancer, aged 717 years, who attended the Hematology-Oncology Unit of the First Department of Pediatrics, and healthy controls who visited the Centre for Adolescent Medicine and UNESCO Chair on Adolescent Health Care of the First Department of Pediatrics, from September 2016 until June 2017, were eligible for study entry. Participants were evaluated with the Self-Reporting Childrens Depression Inventory (CDI) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III). The validated LAMDA software for screening for learning difficulties was administered on a laptop in all study participants.
Results: A total of 60 children and adolescents, 30 survivors of pediatric cancer (survivor group) and 30 age-matched (P=0.933) controls (control group) participated in the study. The survivor group demonstrated increased self-assessment of interpersonal problems (mean ± S.D. 3.6±1.0) compared to the control group (mean ± S.D. 2.9±1.1) and this difference was statistically significant (P=0.015). Evaluation with the WISC-III showed elevated levels of general (mean ± S.D. 108.1±15.8) and practical intelligence (mean ± S.D. 54.9±8.0) of the control group compared to the survivor group (mean ± S.D. 97.9±18.1 and 48.9±9.7 respectively) and these differences were statistically significant (P=0.031 and P=0.016 respectively). In particular, statistically significant differences were found in coding (P=0.022), image scheduling (P=0.009) and number memory (P=0.005) between the two groups, with the control group demonstrating higher levels than the survivor group. Regarding the LAMDA test, the survivor group had significantly lower scores than the control group in supplementation of images (processing speed) (mean ± S.D., survivors 2.8±1.3 vs controls 3.4±0.9; P=0.034), verbal proportions (accuracy) (mean ± S.D., survivors 2.8±1.1 vs controls 3.4±0.8; P=0.011) and range of letters (accuracy) (mean ± S.D., survivors 2.8±1.0 vs controls 3.3±1.0; P=0.036).
Conclusion: Children and adolescents with a history of pediatric cancer require psychometric, cognitive and psychosocial assessment at the end of treatment to detect any deficits and ensure timely intervention. Larger studies are needed to fully elucidate young cancer survivors psychometric, cognitive and psychosocial profile.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology