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Screening for psychological late effects in childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer survivors

a systematic review

Michel, Gisela; Vetsch, Janine

doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000196
SUPPORTIVE CARE: Edited by Jean A. Klastersky
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Purpose of review In the past years, increasing evidence showed that many childhood cancer survivors suffer from psychological distress long after treatment ended. However, psychosocial issues are often neglected during follow-up care. Including screening for psychological distress before follow-up appointments might help addressing the topic in survivors who need support. Our aim was to systematically review the available evidence on screening for psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors.

Recent findings We found eight studies that investigated different screening tools for their utility in detecting psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors. The Brief Symptom Inventory-18 with an adapted cutoff score for childhood cancer survivors, and the newly developed short form of the Beck Depression Index were both shown to be of a potential benefit as brief screening tools in follow-up care.

Summary We identified promising screening tools to be used to detect psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors. However, there is still a lack of studies addressing applicability and effectiveness when screening is routinely implemented into follow-up care. To improve quality of follow-up care, and identify and treat survivors with psychological distress, screening tools should now be implemented and their adequacy further tested in day-to-day clinic life.

Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, University of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland

Correspondence to Professor Gisela Michel, Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, University of Lucerne, Frohburgstrasse 3, PO Box 4466, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland. Tel: +41 41 229 59 55; fax: +41 41 229 56 35; e-mail: gisela.michel@unilu.ch

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