Survivors of pediatric brain tumors are often affected by late effects, such as motility disturbance of limb(s), seizure, ocular/visual impairment, endocrine abnormality, and higher brain dysfunction, resulting from the disease and its treatment. Appropriate provision of supportive care will require understanding the effects of these experiences on survivors’ health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
The aim of this study was to identify the relationships between late effects and specific aspects of the HRQOL of pediatric brain tumor survivors.
We distributed questionnaires for measuring HRQOL to 138 survivors and their parents at 8 hospitals and 1 clinic in Japan and simultaneously surveyed late effects using information provided by the survivors’ attending physicians. We compared the HRQOL of survivors with and survivors without specific late effects.
A total of 106 survivors and their parents returned the questionnaires to the researchers. The HRQOL of survivors 18 years or older was negatively affected by all 5 late effects, indicating that their higher impairment was associated with diminished HRQOL. The HRQOL of survivors aged 12 to 17 years was negatively affected by 2 late effects (ocular/visual impairment and motility disturbance of the limbs). A part of the HRQOL subdomain (motor and cognitive functioning) of survivors aged 12 to 17 years was positively related to ocular/visual impairment.
Five late effects influenced the HRQOL of pediatric brain tumor survivors.
Implications for Practice:
Nurses and other health professionals should provide specific care designed to support aspects of HRQOL affected by late effects. For example, survivors with ocular/visual impairment may be expected to require additional emotional support, and those with seizures or endocrine abnormalities may be expected to require additional support for sleep disorders.