, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 47-53

Health Status in 52 Long-term Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumors

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Abstract

The percentage of children who survive childhood brain tumors is increasing. A number have neurological and other sequelae which impact on the quality of their survival. We reviewed long-term survivors using a standardized health status instrument. The mothers of 52 survivors of brain tumors were surveyed. Eight different aspects (attributes) of health status were scored. The first 6 of these attributes were scored in a health status index (HSI) developed at McMaster University. Subgroup analysis was performed. Limitation in the quality of life was found in one of the 8 attributes in all but 2 of the subjects. The health status index (HSI) score using the first 6 attributes of this survey had a median of 0.73 (range 0.16–1.00). This score is lower than that found in previously surveyed survivors of leukemia or other childhood cancers. Examination of age at diagnosis, extent of surgery, sex and therapeutic modalities used showed no correlation with HSI score. Those with supratentorial astrocytomas had a lower HSI score (0.65) than those with infratentorial astrocytomas (0.85) (p=0.05). Children with craniopharyngiomas had a poor score (0.64). This survey shows that the survivors of brain tumors have an appreciable burden of morbidity. Most have deficits in health status that affect many areas of their lives. Apart from site of the primary tumor, there was little correlation between subgroups studied and health status. The health status of children who survive brain tumors is lower than that of survivors of other childhood malignancies.