Physical impairment and social adaptation in adult survivors of childhood and adolescent rhabdomyosarcoma: A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivors Study

Psychooncology. 2007 Jan;16(1):26-37. doi: 10.1002/pon.1072.


Background: Despite interest in the well-being of adult survivors of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), few studies have examined their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). This study evaluated physical and social aspects of HRQOL among long-term childhood RMS survivors relative to a sibling comparison group, and assessed whether physical impairment among RMS survivors adversely affected their ability to achieve adult life goals.

Methods: Using baseline data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we evaluated self-reported physical impairment and social adaptation among 417 survivors of childhood RMS and 2685 siblings > or =18 years of age at survey completion.

Results: Survivors were more likely than siblings to report physical impairment, characterized by: at least one medically diagnosed condition, limitations in the performance of routine activities, a health-related inability to work or attend school, cancer-related pain. Survivors were less likely than siblings to have completed high school, ever worked a job, or ever been married. The odds of completing high school were lower among survivors with performance limitations, a health-related inability to work or attend school, or moderate to high levels of cancer-related pain. Survivors who reported cancer-related pain had an increased likelihood of ever being married.

Conclusions: The majority of adult survivors of pediatric RMS are successful in attaining adult life goals despite higher reported occurrence of physical impairment than their sibling counterparts. Additional studies are needed to advance our understanding of other aspects of HRQOL in this population of pediatric cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Educational Status*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Marital Status*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / psychology*
  • Siblings
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology*