Cancer related factors do not explain the quality of life scores for childhood cancer survivors analysed with two different generic HRQL instruments

Cancer Epidemiol. 2011 Apr;35(2):202-10. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2010.07.005. Epub 2010 Aug 3.


The aims: The aims of this Finnish total cohort survey were to compare the health related quality of life (HRQL) of childhood cancer survivors with for age, gender and place of residence matched controls, to analyse whether the disease-related factors do explain the survivors scores, and to evaluate the similarity of HRQL scores gained with two different generic instruments.

Methods: Questionnaires (SF-36 version 2 and the 15D) were mailed to 468 survivors and their controls.

Results: A total of 271 survivors and 329 controls replied. The survivors rated with both instruments their HRQL in most areas as high or higher than their controls. Mobility score was, however, significantly lower for survivors than controls. Females rated their HRQL lower than respective males. Self-rated happiness had the highest effect in explaining the variation of 15D and mental component summary (MCS) scores. Survivors treated for osteosarcoma or with stem cell transplantation (SCT) rated their physical HRQL significantly lower than the others. SCT treatment indicated significantly lower MCS scores than the reference treatment. Correlation between the physical component summary (PCS) scores and 15D total scores was low (R=0.20-0.28). MCS and 15D total scores correlated (R=0.48-0.60) better with each other, but the gained correlation coefficients still differed significantly from each other (p=0.04) and showed better correlation in the controls.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest, that the diagnosis of osteosarcoma, and SCT treatment are substantial risks for adverse HRQL. However, disease related factors did not remarkably explain the variation of HRQL scores gained with generic HRQL instruments. Our findings suggest, that the diagnosis of osteosarcoma, and SCT treatment are substantial risks for adverse HRQL. More evaluation is needed in order to decide whether any of the available generic instruments are feasible for studying HRQL for this special population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors
  • Young Adult