Childhood cancer survivors: Anxieties felt after treatment and the need for continued support

Naoko Iwai, Akira Shimada, Atsushi Iwai, Sonoe Yamaguchi, Hirokazu Tsukahara, Megumi Oda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) and their family members continue to live in fear even after treatment is concluded due to concerns about late effects and recurrences. The consequent long-term psychological burden requires long-term follow up suited to the anxieties and needs of CCS, hence the need for the present survey. Methods: We conducted a questionnaire survey at medical facilities in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions of Japan with CCS who had survived for at least 5 years following treatment, and their family members. Results: A total of 30 CCS (53%) and 27 CCS family members (47%) answered the questionnaires. The median age of the CCS and their family members (CCS parents) was 23 years and 51.5 years, respectively. The most common diagnosis was acute lymphoblastic leukemia (47%) and the median length of follow up after the conclusion of treatment was 11 years. The percentage of participants who responded that they knew about late effects was significantly lower among CCS than among CCS parents. Almost no significant difference was observed between CCS and CCS parents regarding anxieties at specific life stages. The main consultants for CCS and CCS parents were their family, but they sought opportunities for casual consultation for current worries outside the family. Conclusions: It is necessary for medical facilities not only to provide medical support, but also to establish a place where they can provide centralized consultation for the anxieties of CCS and their parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1140-1150
Number of pages11
JournalPediatrics International
Volume59
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • childhood cancer
  • consultation
  • family care
  • survivor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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