Long-term survivors of childhood cancer report quality of life and health status in parity with a comparison group

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Sundberg, K. K. ; Doukkali, E. B. ; Lampic, C. ; Eriksson, L. E. ; Arvidson, J. ; Wettergren, L. (2010)

Background: There is a need for more knowledge about how survivors of childhood cancer perceive their lives and what influence current health status has on their quality of life. The purpose was to describe this among a group of long-term survivors and among a comparison group. \ud \ud Procedure: Telephone interviews were performed with a cohort of 246 long-term survivors and 296 randomly selected from the general population using the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life- Direct Weighting (SEIQoL-DW). The participants nominated the areas they considered to be most important in life and rated the current status of each area on a seven-point category scale. An overall individual index score was calculated as a measure of quality of life. Self-reported health status was assessed using the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). \ud \ud Results: Long-term survivors rated their overall quality of life and self-reported health status almost in parity with the comparison group. In both groups, family life, relations to other people, work and career, interests and leisure activities were the areas most frequently reported to influence quality of life. The survivors only differed from the comparison group on one of eight SF-36 scales reflecting problems with daily activities owing to physical health. \ud \ud Conclusions: Health status was not shown to have a major impact on overall quality of life, indicating that health and quality of life should be evaluated distinctively as different constructs. This should be taken in consideration in clinical care of children with childhood cancer and long-term survivors.
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