Psychological Symptoms, Social Outcomes, Socioeconomic Attainment, and Health Behaviors Among Survivors of Childhood Cancer: Current State of the Literature
Journal of Clinical Oncology
Tara M. Brinkman, Christopher J. Recklitis, Gisela Michel, Martha A. Grootenhuis, and James L.
The diagnosis, treatment, and medical late effects of childhood cancer may alter the psychosocial trajectory of survivors across their life course. This review of the literature focuses on mental health symptoms, achievement of social milestones, socioeconomic attainment, and risky health behaviors in survivors of childhood cancer. Results suggest that although most survivors are psychologically well adjusted, survivors are at risk for anxiety and depression compared with siblings. Although the absolute risk of suicide ideation and post-traumatic stress symptoms is low, adult survivors are at increased risk compared with controls. Moreover, young adult survivors are at risk for delayed psychosexual development, lower rates of marriage or cohabitation, and nonindependent living. Survivors’ socioeconomic attainment also is reduced, with fewer survivors graduating college and gaining full-time employment. Despite risk for late health-related complications, survivors of childhood cancer generally engage in risky health behaviors at rates similar to or only slightly lower than siblings and peers. CNS tumors and CNS-directed therapies are salient risk factors for poor psychosocial outcomes. In addition, physical health morbidities resulting from cancer-directed therapies are associated with worse psychosocial functioning. Several studies support the effectiveness of cognitive and behavioral interventions to treat psychological symptoms as well as to modify health behaviors. Additional randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy and long-term outcomes of intervention efforts. Future research should focus on the identification of potential genetic predispositions related to psychosocial outcomes to provide opportunities for preventive interventions among survivors of childhood cancer.
"...only 4%, 19%, 24%, and 29% of survivors meet guidelines for vitamin D, sodium, calcium, and saturated fat intake respectively."