BACKGROUND:: After a more successful treatment of pediatric cancer, the number of childhood cancer survivors is progressively increasing. Consequently, awareness of psychological late sequelae is important. PROCEDURE:: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used as a screening tool for emotional distress in a single center cohort of 652 childhood cancer survivors (median age 23 y [range, 15 to 46 y], median follow-up time 15 y [range, 5 to 42 y]). Results were compared with a control group of 440 Dutch subjects. A higher HADS score linearly reflect a higher level of emotional distress, and a score ≥15 is indicative of clinically significant emotional distress. RESULTS:: Mean HADS score of the childhood cancer survivors was not different from the control group (P=0.38). Survivors exposed to global central nervous system (CNS) irradiation had a significantly higher HADS score than the control group (8.3±6.6; P=0.05) as well as other survivors (P=0.01). Forty-three survivors (7%) had a HADS score ≥15. Survivors with a HADS score ≥15 were variously spread over the diagnostic-related and treatment-related subgroups. Linear regression analysis showed that high educational achievement (β=-1.28; P<0.01) and age at the time of the study (β=0.08; P=0.03) were both significantly associated with the HADS score. CONCLUSIONS:: Emotional distress does not occur more often in childhood cancer survivors than in the normal population. No disease-related or treatment-related variable was independently associated with emotional distress. Copyright

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Journal of Pediatric Hematology / Oncology
Department of Biostatistics

van der Geest, I., van Dorp, W., Hop, W., Neggers, B., de Vries, A., Pieters, R., … van den Heuvel-Eibrink, M. (2013). Emotional distress in 652 dutch very long-term survivors of childhood cancer, using the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS). Journal of Pediatric Hematology / Oncology, 35(7), 525–529. doi:10.1097/MPH.0b013e31829f2799