Childhood Cancer Survivors with Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms Face Late Effects

Heal, Winter 2020, Volume 8, Issue 1

Survivors of childhood cancer with post-traumatic stress symptoms reported more psychosocial late effects, a new study shows.

Adult survivors of childhood cancer with post-traumatic stress symptoms reported significantly more psychosocial and neurocognitive late effects, according to recent study findings. These survivors were also more likely to attend cancer-specific health visits.

More than 6,500 survivors were included in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study and, at a median follow-up of almost three years, were evaluated through surveys and questionnaires. Questions covered sociodemographics, physical health, health behaviors and health care use.

Researchers discovered that 14.5% (995 individuals) of long-term survivors with post-traumatic stress symptoms had more impairment in mental and physical health-related quality of life, as well as in task efficiency, working memory, organization and emotional regulation.

Because these symptoms can pose challenges for a population that is vulnerable to late-term side effects, offering integrative services during follow-up visits may lead to better functional outcomes, the researchers said.