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01-05-2014 | Uitgave 4/2014

Quality of Life Research 4/2014

Cancer-specific health-related quality of life in children with brain tumors

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2014
Iori Sato, Akiko Higuchi, Takaaki Yanagisawa, Akitake Mukasa, Kohmei Ida, Yutaka Sawamura, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Nobuhito Saito, Toshihiro Kumabe, Mizuhiko Terasaki, Ryo Nishikawa, Yasushi Ishida, Kiyoko Kamibeppu
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-013-0555-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



To understand the influence of disease and treatment on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of children with brain tumors, compared to the HRQOL of children with other cancers, from the viewpoints of children and parents.


A total of 133 children aged 5–18 years and 165 parents of children aged 2–18 completed questionnaires of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Cancer Module (Pain and Hurt, Nausea, Procedural Anxiety, Treatment Anxiety, Worry, Cognitive Problems, Perceived Physical Appearance, and Communication scales); higher scores indicate a better HRQOL. The Cancer Module scores, weighted by age and treatment status, were compared to those obtained in a previous study of children with other cancers (mostly leukemia).


The weighted mean scores for Pain and Hurt (effect size d = 0.26) and Nausea (d = 0.23) from child reports and the scores for Nausea (d = 0.28) from parent reports were higher for children with brain tumors than scores for children with other cancers. The scores for Procedural Anxiety (d = −0.22) and Treatment Anxiety (d = −0.32) from parent reports were lower for parents of children with brain tumors than the scores for parents of children with other cancers. The child-reported Pain and Hurt score of the Cancer Module was higher (d = 0.29) and in less agreement (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.43) with scores from the Brain Tumor Module, indicating that assessments completed with the Cancer Module misesteem pain and hurt problems in children with brain tumors.


The profiles of cancer-specific HRQOL in children with brain tumors differ from those of children with other cancers; we therefore suggest that these children receive specific psychological support.

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