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25-01-2018 | Review | Uitgave 6/2018

Quality of Life Research 6/2018

Health-related quality of life of survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a systematic review

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2018
J. Vetsch, C. E. Wakefield, E. G. Robertson, T. N. Trahair, M. K. Mateos, M. Grootenhuis, G. M. Marshall, R. J. Cohn, J. E. Fardell
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-018-1788-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survivors are the largest group of childhood cancer survivors; however, their risk for late effects is high. Cancer-related late effects have the potential to compromise health-related quality of life (HRQL) long into survivorship. None of the reviews so far have focused on ALL solely, but described HRQL for all childhood cancers. We aimed to identify ALL survivors at risk for poor HRQL and identify possible risk factors.


Following PRISMA guidelines, we performed a systematic review, searching published literature in Pubmed, PsycInfo, Embase, and the Cochrane database including all publications up to December 16, 2016. Two independent reviewers (JV and ER) screened eligible articles and assessed article quality.


We found 31 studies representing 4356 survivors and 901 proxies. Thirteen studies found worse, eight found no difference, and three better, overall HRQL scores compared with healthy controls or norms. ALL survivors typically had better overall HRQL scores than survivors of other childhood cancers. Clinical variables (e.g., treatment received) were not consistently associated with HRQL; however, experiencing worse late effects was associated with lower HRQL. Survivor and parent socio-demographic factors and psychological factors such as resilience and depression were also associated with HRQL.


ALL survivors appeared to have worse or equivalent HRQL compared with controls, but better HRQL than survivors of other cancer types. However, studies reported a wide variability in HRQL and potential risk factors for poor HRQL. Measuring ALL survivors’ HRQL longitudinally and comprehensively assessing potential risk factors might identify future avenues to intervene early.

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Extra materiaal
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 97 KB)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 23 KB)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 147 KB)
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