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A Descriptive Study of the Psychosocial Well-Being and Quality of Life of Childhood Cancer Survivors in Hong Kong

Li, Ho Cheung William PhD, RN; Chung, Oi Kwan Joyce MPH, RN; Ho, Ka Yan Eva RN; Chiu, Sau Ying MPH, RN; Lopez, Violeta PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e31823fcb53

Background: Research indicates that increased survival rates are accompanied by an increase in associated psychosocial problems. Whereas much of the attention has focused on the physiological care of childhood cancer survivors, the consequences of cancer and its treatments on psychosocial well-being and quality of life remain relatively underexplored.

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the psychosocial well-being and quality of life of Hong Kong Chinese childhood cancer survivors.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was used. A total of 137 childhood cancer survivors (9- to 16-year olds) who underwent medical follow-up in the outpatient clinic were invited to participate in the study.

Results: A significant number of childhood cancer survivors had low self-esteem and experienced high levels of depression. The study also indicated that greater symptoms of depression in childhood cancer survivors were associated with higher state anxiety, lower self-esteem, and poor quality of life.

Conclusions: Cancer and its treatments can have adverse effects on the psychosocial well-being and quality of life of survivors.

Implications for Practice: It is essential for nurses to develop and evaluate interventions with the aim of promoting psychosocial well-being and quality of life for childhood cancer survivors. Knowing the self-esteem and coping behavior of survivors can help design appropriate and effective psychosocial interventions to promote their psychosocial well-being.

Author Affiliations: School of Nursing, Lee Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong (Dr Li, Ms Chung, and Ms Ho); Research Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Practice, Australian National University, Woden (Dr Lopez); and Paediatric Oncology Unit, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong (Ms Chiu).

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Ho Cheung William Li, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Lee Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, 4/F, William M. W. Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Rd, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China (

Accepted for publication November 1, 2011.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.