Psychological Wellbeing in Adolescents with Leukaemia: A Comparative Study with Typical Development Peers

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jan 16;17(2):567. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17020567.


There is still little research on psychological wellbeing, life satisfaction and reported problems in preadolescents and adolescents under therapy for leukaemia, and also little research comparing them with their healthy peers. The present study aimed to analyse the life satisfaction, hope, psychological wellbeing and reported problems' intensity in 60 patients aged 8-18 during the first year of therapy, to identify those more at risk and to compare their reports with matched healthy peers. A battery of self-reported questionnaires was administered during hospitalisation or day hospital admissions post 6 months and post 12 months from the diagnosis. Younger patients (aged 8-13 years) were more at risk than older ones in their problems' intensity and psychological symptoms; females and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia patients reported lower current life satisfaction perceptions; hope was associated with lower depression symptoms and mood problems. Healthy peers have a better perception of current life, but reported a lower hope score, more anxiety symptoms and more cognitive problems than patients. The first 6 months were more critical for patients' psychological health. Basing on these empirical data, the inclusion of mental health care professionals or supportive psychotherapy into the treatment is recognized as extremely useful.

Keywords: adolescents; children; cognitive problems; healthy peers; hope; in treatment; leukaemia; life perceptions; psychological wellbeing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Child
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sex Factors