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Associations between Demographics and Quality of Life in Children in the First Year of Cancer Treatment
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  • Jennifer Raybin,
  • Verna Hendricks-Ferguson,
  • Paul Cook,
  • Catherine Jankowski
Jennifer Raybin
Children's Hospital Colorado
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Verna Hendricks-Ferguson
Saint Louis University School of Nursing
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Paul Cook
University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus
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Catherine Jankowski
University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus
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Abstract

Symptom distress and decreased quality of life (QOL) among children with cancer are well documented. Research is emerging on the child’s voice in QOL-symptom reports, but existing QOL questionnaires are burdensome and objective biologic markers are lacking. We examined children’s symptoms and QOL from parent and child perspectives and compared the results to one biologic marker (body posture). A cross-sectional secondary analysis of prospective data from children receiving creative arts therapy explored potential associations among demographics with and between QOL measures (PedsQL, Faces Scale, posture). Children (n = 98) ranged in age from 3-17 years (M = 7.8) and were in the first year of cancer treatment. No significant associations were found among the child’s sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), or distance from hospital and total PedsQL. Older age was associated with worse total PedsQL, pain, nausea, worry, and posture (all ps < .05). Greater worry (β = 0.51) and worse posture (β = 0.41) were the QOL variables most strongly correlated with older age. Poorer posture was associated with worse child PedsQL (total score, nausea, treatment anxiety, cognitive) and parent PedsQL (pain, nausea). Worse scores on the Faces Scale, PedsQL, and posture were all correlated (rs = .21 - .39, all ps < .05). Interventions to improve QOL could target nausea, worry, and older patients. Accuracy and interpretation of symptom distress in children is problematic. The Faces Scale and posture may be suitable, readily obtained measures of QOL in pediatric oncology that hold promise.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

22 Jul 2021Submission Checks Completed
22 Jul 2021Assigned to Editor
22 Jul 2021Submitted to Pediatric Blood & Cancer
27 Jul 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
10 Aug 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
12 Aug 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
07 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
07 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
07 Sep 20211st Revision Received
09 Sep 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Accept