Substantial improvements in childhood cancer survival have resulted in a steadily increasing population of childhood cancer survivors. Whereas somatic late effects have been assessed in many studies, less is known about the impact of childhood cancer on socioeconomic outcomes in survivors. The aim of this article was to evaluate and summarise the evidence on the socioeconomic conditions of childhood cancer survivors and to identify survivors at particular risk of adverse socioeconomic outcomes. An extensive literature search of three electronic databases was conducted. Of 419 articles identified, 52 met the inclusion criteria. All the selected articles were appraised for quality, and findings were summarised in a narrative synthesis. Childhood cancer survivors were at higher risk of adverse socioeconomic outcomes with regard to educational achievement, income and social security benefits than the general population or a sibling comparison group. The risks for unemployment and a lower occupational position were significantly increased only for survivors of a central nervous system tumour. Notably, survivors of central nervous system tumours, survivors treated with cranial radiotherapy and those diagnosed at younger age independent of cancer type were determinants of particular adverse socioeconomic outcomes. Given the increasing population of childhood cancer survivors, targeted follow-up interventions and support strategies addressing not only the somatic and psychiatric late effects but also the socioeconomic difficulties that some childhood cancer survivors face is of high importance to reduce social inequity, and ensure a high quality of life after childhood cancer.
Keywords: childhood cancer survivors; socioeconomic factors; systematic review.
© 2018 UICC.