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Pediatric Supportive Care (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Psychological Adjustment

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Other studies suggest that survivors of childhood cancer have an increased risk for post-traumatic stress symptoms and PTSD after treatment is finished. In a study of 78 adults aged 18 to 41 years who had been treated for childhood cancer, 20.5% met the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD at some time since the end of their treatment. Clinically significant events of intrusive symptoms (9%) and avoidant symptoms (16.7%) were reported in the sample, and the symptoms were associated with elevated reports of anxiety and other measures of psychologic distress.[40][Level of evidence: II] Survivors who report higher levels of uncertainty about their disease and future appear to be more likely to have elevated reports of post-traumatic stress symptoms.[41][Level of evidence: II][42] A study of 182 adolescent and young adult cancer survivors who were more than 5 years from diagnosis and more than 2 years from completion of cancer treatment also found that 16% met the criteria for PTSD. A relationship between PTSD and higher levels of other psychological problems was also reported.[43] When survivors meet the criteria for PTSD, they are more likely to experience depression and negative affect, lower satisfaction with life, and poorer reported HRQL, as well as difficulty performing developmental tasks.[44][Level of evidence: II]

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Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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