Reliability and validity of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Neurocognitive Questionnaire

Cancer. 2008 Oct 15;113(8):2188-97. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23809.


Background: Up to 40% of childhood cancer survivors may experience neurocognitive impairment in 1 or more specific domains. As such, regular monitoring has been recommended for patients exposed to cranial irradiation and/or antimetabolite chemotherapy. This study reports the results of a questionnaire developed to identify those survivors who may be experiencing neurocognitive problems.

Methods: Participants for this study were 7121 members of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort (6739 survivors and 382 siblings). These participants completed a new neurocognitive questionnaire designed to assess functions commonly affected by cancer therapy, as well as a standard measure of emotional functioning. A measure of cognitive and emotional functioning was also completed on a subset of the patients roughly 7 years before the current questionnaire. Responses to the questionnaires among subgroups of survivors were then analyzed to examine the reliability and validity of the new neurocognitive questionnaire.

Results: Four reliable factors were identified that assessed task efficiency, emotional regulation, organization, and memory skills. These neurocognitive factors accurately discriminated survivors who were at "high risk" for neurocognitive dysfunction, because of neurologic abnormalities or a history of intensive focal cranial irradiation, from healthy "low-risk" survivors and siblings.

Conclusions: The questionnaire demonstrated excellent reliability, as well as construct and discriminative validity. It appears to be a practical and efficient tool for monitoring neurocognitive outcomes in adult survivors of pediatric cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Survivors*