Cancer in childhood: children's and parents' aspects for quality of life

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2008 Jul;12(3):209-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2007.10.005. Epub 2008 Mar 4.


Introduction: The aim of the present study is to (a) describe the level of agreement between reports of health-related quality of life (HRQL) obtained from parents and young patients both on- and off-treatment and (b) explore the factors that may affect the level of agreement in the quality of life (QoL) between young patients and parental proxies.

Patients and methods: The study group consisted of 149 young patients (77 children and 72 adolescents) with cancer followed up by an oncology in-patient clinic of a Greek children's hospital with one of their parents (n=298). After parental consent was obtained, data were collected using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) and a sociodemographic data form.

Results: The data collection showed that the best agreement was for the physical (ICC=0.82) and the school domains (ICC=0.68), whereas the worst was for the emotional (ICC=0.48) and the social domains (ICC=0.52). In the off-treatment group, the mother's age was a significant predictor of the child-proxy difference on the physical sub-scale (F=9.804, P=0.003). There was a negative relationship between the mother's age and patient proxy difference on the physical sub-scale. In the on-treatment group, the educational level of the father was found to be a significant predictor for the physical (F=4.30, P=0.041), school (F=5.51, P=0.022) and total sub-scales (F=10.41, P=0.002). Parents with basic education tended to have worse agreement with their children's reports on the physical and school sub-scales, while parents with higher education had worse agreement with their children's reports on the total sub-scale.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the children and adolescents with cancer reported better QoL than their parents. The predictors found to be significant need to be examined extensively by further studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Cost of Illness
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires