University of Oulu

Ljungman, L., Remes, T., Westin, E. et al. Health-related quality of life in long-term survivors of childhood brain tumors: a population-based cohort study. Support Care Cancer 30, 5157–5166 (2022).

Health‑related quality of life in long‑term survivors of childhood brain tumors : a population‑based cohort study

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Author: Ljungman, Lisa1; Remes, Tiina2,3; Westin, Elisabeth1;
Organizations: 1Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
2Department of Pediatrics and Adolescence, PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Child Neurology, Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Pediatrics and Adolescence, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki University, Helsinki, Finland
5Department of Neurology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku University, Turku, Finland
7Pediatric Research Unit, Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-12


Purpose: Survivors of childhood brain tumors (BT) are at high risk for long-term physical and psychological sequelae. Still, knowledge about health-related quality of life (HRQL) and associated factors in this population is sparse. This study investigated HRQL and its predictors in long-term survivors of childhood BT

Methods: Survivors of childhood BT (mean age=28.1 years, SD=6.8, n=60) underwent clinical examination and neurocognitive examination, and completed self-rating questionnaires assessing HRQL (RAND-36) and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-II). Socio-demographic information was gathered via a questionnaire. Tumor- and treatment-related information was collected from medical records. Control group data were collected from age-matched controls (n=146) without a history of cancer, randomly selected from the local population registry. Multiple linear regression models were used to investigate predictors of HRQL; separate models were ftted for each domain of the RAND-36.

Results: Male survivors (mean age=27.0, SD=6.0, n=39) reported signifcantly lower HRQL than male controls in the domains of physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, and role limitations-emotional. Female survivors (mean age=30.2 years, SD=7.6, n=21) reported comparable levels as female controls in all domains except physical functioning. A higher burden of late efects, not working/studying, being diagnosed with BT during adolescence, and reporting current depressive symptoms were signifcant predictors of lower HRQL.

Conclusions: Our results highlight that male survivors of childhood BT are at particular risk of impaired HRQL. Also, results point to the close relation between symptoms of depression and impaired HRQL in survivors of childhood BT which should be acknowledged by long-term follow-up care.

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Series: Supportive care in cancer
ISSN: 0941-4355
ISSN-E: 1433-7339
ISSN-L: 0941-4355
Volume: 30
Issue: 6
Pages: 5157 - 5166
DOI: 10.1007/s00520-022-06905-x
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: Open access funding provided by Uppsala University. This study was funded by Special State Grants for Health Research in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescence, Oulu University Hospital, Finland (to T.R.); the Väre Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research, Finland (to T.R.); the Foundation of Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg, Finland (to T.R.); the Foundation of Arvo and Lea Ylppö, Finland (to T.R.); the Foundation for Pediatric Research, Finland (to T.R.); the Foundation of Emil Aaltonen, Finland (to T.R.); the Cancer Society of Finland (to H.R. and A.H.-S.); the Foundation of Thelma Mäkikyrö, Finland (to T.R.); the Cancer Foundation of Northern Finland (to T.R.); the Aamu Finnish Childhood Cancer Foundation (to T.R.); the Foundation of Alma and K. A. Snellman, Finland (to T.R.); the Foundation of Märta Donner, Finland (to T.R.); and by the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund (to L.L).
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