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01-04-2013 | Uitgave 3/2013

Quality of Life Research 3/2013

Psychosocial and emotional adjustment for children with pediatric cancer and their primary caregivers and the impact on their health-related quality of life during the first 6 months

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2013
Auteurs:
Ming-Horng Tsai, Jen-Fu Hsu, Wen-Jiun Chou, Chao-Ping Yang, Tang-Her Jaing, Iou-Jih Hung, Hwey-Fang Liang, Hsuan-Rong Huang, Yu-Shu Huang

Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate caregiver-reported psychosocial adjustment and health-related quality of life (HrQoL) of Taiwanese children with newly diagnosed cancer and their caregivers during the first 6 months of treatment.

Methods

Caregivers of 89 newly diagnosed children completed the child behavior checklist, the pediatric quality of life inventory (PedsQL 4.0), the Parenting Stress Index, and the SF-36 questionnaire at diagnosis, and again 3 and 6 months into treatment. They were compared with a group of age- and sex-matched controls from general community.

Results

Significantly worse HrQoL in both children and their caregivers and greater parenting stress were noted in the cancer group than the controls during the first 6 months. Children with cancer were found to have significantly more internalizing behavioral problems and somatic complaints, especially those younger than 12 years old. After starting chemotherapy, significant decrease in parenting stress and improvements of both caregivers and children’s HrQoL were noted within the first 6 months, although not to the level comparable with normal controls.

Conclusions

Although children and their caregivers can adjust themselves gradually during the first 6 months after diagnosis of cancer, intervention and efforts aimed at reducing their distress and promoting adjustments are still required during this period.

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