, Volume 114, Issue 1, pp 71-78
Date: 10 May 2013

Sluggish cognitive tempo in survivors of pediatric brain tumors

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The presence of neurocognitive late effects in survivors of pediatric brain tumors is well established. However, there remains some debate about how best to conceptualize these deficits. Sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) is a proposed conceptual framework that has been used to describe a subset of children with ADHD who exhibit a particular profile characterized by lethargy, day dreaming and staring, and poor organization. Previous work has suggested that survivors of leukemia exhibit a similar profile, but it has not yet been examined in survivors of pediatric brain tumors. A sample of 65 survivors of pediatric brain tumors, 25 survivors of leukemia and 50 community controls completed the Child Behavior Checklist, with four items used to measure SCT. Survivors completed additional measures of neurocognitive functioning. Survivors of brain tumors demonstrated significantly greater symptoms of SCT than survivors of leukemia or controls. SCT was associated with attention problems and working memory deficits and the presence of a VP-shunt. Results provided conditional support for the presence of SCT in survivors of brain tumors, with further research needed to determine the clinical utility of the framework.