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01-03-2011 | Uitgave 2/2011

Quality of Life Research 2/2011

Life satisfaction in adult survivors of cancer during adolescence: what contributes to the latter satisfaction with life?

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2011
Diana C. M. Seitz, Daniela Hagmann, Tanja Besier, Ute Dieluweit, Klaus-Michael Debatin, Desiree Grabow, Peter Kaatsch, Gerhard Henrich, Lutz Goldbeck



To compare the general and health-related life satisfaction (LS) in long-term survivors of adolescent cancer with a community sample and to identify medical and psychosocial factors associated with LS.


LS of 820 survivors (age M = 30.4 ± 6.0 years; time since diagnosis M = 13.7 ± 6.0 years) was assessed with the Questions on Life Satisfaction (FLZM) and compared to an age- and sex-matched community sample. The effects of medical, psychological, and socio-demographical factors on the survivors’ general and health-related LS were investigated by means of multiple regression analyses.


Survivors were significantly less satisfied than the comparison group in terms of both their general (P < .001, d = −.35) and health-related (P < .001, d = −.47) life. Somatic late effects, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and less posttraumatic growth were associated with impaired general and health-related LS. Moreover, being married contributed significantly to higher general LS.


Adult survivors of cancer with onset during adolescence are experiencing less LS than the general population. Long-term routine follow-up visits are recommended to identify persisting effects of cancer survival on LS and to provide support for those with special needs. Physicians need to pay special attention to potential risk factors such as psychological distress, somatic late effects, persistent psychological distress, and a lack of posttraumatic growth, which are negatively correlated with LS.

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