Psychosocial profile of pediatric brain tumor survivors with neurocognitive complaints

Marieke Anna de Ruiter, Antoinette Yvonne Narda Schouten-van Meeteren, Dannis Gilbert van Vuurden, Heleen Maurice-Stam, Corrie Gidding, Laura Rachel Beek, Bernd Granzen, Jaap Oosterlaan, Martha Alexandra Grootenhuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose With more children surviving a brain tumor, neurocognitive consequences of the tumor and its treatment become apparent, which could affect psychosocial functioning. The present study therefore aimed to assess psychosocial functioning of pediatric brain tumor survivors (PBTS) in detail. Methods Psychosocial functioning of PBTS (8-18 years) with parent-reported neurocognitive complaints was compared to normative data on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), self-esteem, psychosocial adjustment, and executive functioning (one-sample t tests) and to a sibling control group on fatigue (independent-samples t test). Self-, parent-, and teacher-report questionnaires were included, where appropriate, providing complementary information. Results Eighty-two PBTS (mean age 13.4 years, SD 3.2, 49 % males) and 43 healthy siblings (mean age 14.3, SD 2.4, 40 % males) were included. As compared to the normative population, PBTS themselves reported decreased physical, psychological, and generic HRQOL (d = 0.39-0.62, p <0.008). Compared to siblings, increased fatigue-related concentration problems (d = 0.57, p <0.01) were reported, although self-reported self-esteem and psychosocial adjustment seemed not to be affected. Parents of PBTS reported more psychosocial (d = 0.81, p <0.000) and executive problems (d = 0.35-0.43, p <0.016) in their child than parents of children in the normative population. Teachers indicated more psychosocial adjustment problems for female PBTS aged 8-11 years than for the female normative population (d = 0.69, p <0.025), but they reported no more executive problems. Conclusions PBTS with parent-reported neurocognitive complaints showed increased psychosocial problems, as reported by PBTS, parents, and teachers. Implications for cancer survivors Systematic screening of psychosocial functioning is necessary so that tailored support from professionals can be offered to PBTS with neurocognitive complaints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-446
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Brain tumor
  • Pediatric oncology
  • Psychosocial
  • Late effects of cancer treatment
  • Quality of life

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