Quality of Life Research

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 515–521 | Cite as

Hearing loss and quality of life in survivors of paediatric CNS tumours and other cancers

  • Annette Weiss
  • Grit Sommer
  • Christina Schindera
  • Laura Wengenroth
  • Axel Karow
  • Manuel Diezi
  • Gisela Michel
  • Claudia E. KuehniEmail author
  • Swiss Paediatric Oncology Group (SPOG)
Brief Communication



Hearing loss, a complication of cancer treatment, may reduce health-related quality of life (HRQoL), especially in childhood cancer survivors of central nervous system (CNS) tumours who often have multiple late effects. We examined the effect of hearing loss on HRQoL in young survivors of CNS and other childhood cancers.


Within the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we sent questionnaires about hearing loss and HRQoL (KIDSCREEN-27) to parents of survivors aged 8–15 years. We stratified the effect of hearing loss on HRQoL by cancer diagnosis, using multivariable logistic regression and adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical factors.


Hearing loss was associated with impaired physical well-being [unadjusted estimated differences − 4.6 (CI − 9.2, − 0.1); adjusted − 4.0 (CI − 7.6, − 0.3)] and peers and social support [unadjusted − 6.7 (CI − 13.0, − 0.3); adjusted − 5.0 (CI − 10.5, 0.9)] scores in survivors of CNS tumours (n = 123), but not in children diagnosed with other cancers (all p-values > 0.20, n = 577).


Clinicians should be alert to signs of reduced physical well-being and impaired relationships with peers. Especially survivors of CNS tumours may benefit most from strict audiological monitoring and timely intervention to mitigate secondary consequences of hearing loss on HRQoL.


Childhood cancer Ototoxicity Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry Late effects Cancer treatment 



We thank all childhood cancer survivors and families for participating in our survey. We thank the study team of the SCCSS (Rahel Kuonen, Rahel Kasteler, Jana Remlinger, Laura Wengenroth, Corina Rueegg, Cornelia Rebholz), data managers of the SPOG (Claudia Anderegg, Pamela Balestra, Nadine Beusch, Rosa-Emma Garcia, Franziska Hochreutener, Friedgard Julmy, Nadia Lanz, Rodolfo Lo Piccolo, Heike Markiewicz, Annette Reinberg, Renate Siegenthaler and Verena Stahel) and the team of the SCCR (Verena Pfeiffer, Katharina Flandera, Erika Brantschen-Berclaz, Shelagh Redmond, Meltem Altun, Parvinder Singh, Elisabeth Kiraly). We thank Kali Tal for her editorial suggestions. Swiss Paediatric Oncology Group (SPOG) Scientific Committee: Prof. Dr. med. R. Ammann, Bern; Dr. med. K. Scheinemann, Aarau; Prof. Dr. med. M. Ansari, Geneva; Prof. Dr. med. M. Beck Popovic, Lausanne; Dr. med. P. Brazzola, Bellinzona; Dr. med. J. Greiner, St. Gallen; Prof. Dr. med. M. Grotzer, Zurich; Dr. med. H. Hengartner, St. Gallen; Prof. Dr. med. T. Kuehne, Basel; Prof. Dr. med. J. Rössler, Bern; Prof. Dr. med. F. Niggli, Zurich; PD Dr. med. F. Schilling, Lucerne; Prof. Dr. med. N. von der Weid, Basel.


This study was supported by the Swiss Cancer League (Grant Nos: 3412-02-2014, 3886-02-2016), the Stiftung für Krebsbekämpfung (, Kinderkrebs Schweiz ( and received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 602030. The work of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry is supported by the Swiss Paediatric Oncology Group (, Schweizerische Konferenz der kantonalen Gesundheitsdirektorinnen und -direktoren (, Swiss Cancer Research (, Kinderkrebshilfe Schweiz (, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology and Registration ( The funders of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry support the daily running of the registry and have not had and will not have any role in the design, conduct, interpretation, or publication of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry itself as well as the related research projects.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants accorded with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Ethics approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of the Canton of Bern to the SCCR and SCCSS (KEK-BE: 166/2014) and the SCCSS is registered at (Identifier: NCT03297034).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants (parents and survivors) for registration in the SCCR and participation in the SCCSS survey.

Supplementary material

11136_2018_2021_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (120 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 120 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry, Institute of Social and Preventive MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department for Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine/Medicine SociologyUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  3. 3.Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, InselspitalBern University Hospital, University of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental MedicineUniversity Hospital of Munich (LMU)MunichGermany
  5. 5.Paediatric Haemato-Oncology Unit, Department of PaediatricsUniversity Hospital Lausanne (CHUV)LausanneSwitzerland
  6. 6.Department of Health Sciences and Health PolicyUniversity of LucerneLucerneSwitzerland

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