MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study on adolescents aged 13-18 years old. Upon ethical clearance obtained from UMMC Medical Ethics Committee, patients with colorectal, breast or lung cancer and their adolescent children were recruited from the Clinical Oncology Unit of University of Malaya Medical Centre. Respondents who gave consent completed a demographic questionnaire and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, via the post, email, home visit or meetings at the clinics.
RESULTS: 95 adolescents from 50 families responded, giving a response rate of 88 percent. The adolescent's mean age was 16 years (ranging between 13-18 years). Adolescents with parental cancer had the lowest mean score in emotional functioning (p<0.05). Male adolescents had significantly higher quality of life overall and in physical functioning compared to female adolescents. Adolescents with a father with cancer had better school functioning compared to adolescents whose mothers had cancer. Families with household income of RM 5000 and above have significantly better quality of life compared to families with lower household income.
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent sons and daughters of parents with a cancer diagnosis show lowered QOL, particularly with reference to emotional functioning and school performance. Addressing the needs of this young group has been slow and warrants special attention. Revisiting the risk and resilience factors of adolescents might also inform tailored programs to address the needs of this neglected adolescent population.
METHODS: This study is from the MyBCC cohort study. Two hundred and twenty one female breast cancer patients were included into the study. They were assessed at the time of diagnosis, 6 months and 12 month using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and distress thermometer. The information on age, ethnicity, treatment types and staging of cancer were collected.
RESULTS: 50.2%, 51.6% and 40.3% of patients had perceived high level of distress at baseline, 6 months and 1 year after diagnosis. Those with high perceived level of distress had significant higher anxiety scores even after adjusted for the underlying depressive scores (Adjusted OR at baseline = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.13-1.44; adjusted OR at 6 months = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.11-1.45; adjusted OR at 12 months = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.29-1.76). There were no significant differences in the depressive scores between the subjects with either low or high distress level. There was reduction in perceived level of distress, anxiety and depression scores at 12 months after the diagnosis. The decrease of distress was positively correlated with the reduction of anxiety scores but not the changes of depressive scores (r' = 0.25).
CONCLUSION: Anxiety is a more significant psychological state that contributed to the feeling of distress in breast cancer as compared with depression. Levels of anxiety at diagnosis in this study would justify screening for anxiety, early identification and therapy for maintaining the psychological well-being of breast cancer patients. Further studies will be needed to measure the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.
METHODS: A search was conducted on five databases for articles published in English from 1980 till March 2015. Included were studies who recruited children (aged 5-18 years), with a diagnosis or newly/recurrent epilepsy, an intelligent quotient (IQ) of ≥70 or attending regular school, with or without a control group, which measured academic achievement using a standardised objective measure, and published in English. Excluded were children with learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities (IQ<70) and other comorbidities such as attention deficits hyperactive disorder or autism. Two pairs of reviewers extracted the data, and met to resolve any differences from the data extraction process.
RESULTS: Twenty studies were included. The majority of the studies assessed "low achievement" whist only two studies used the IQ-achievement discrepancy definition of "underachievement". Fourteen studies (70%) reported that CWE had significantly lower academic achievement scores compared to healthy controls, children with asthma or reported norms. The remaining six studies (30%) did not report any differences. CWE had stable academic achievement scores over time (2-4 years), even among those whose seizure frequency improved. Higher parental education and children with higher IQ, and had better attention or had a positive attitude towards epilepsy, were associated with higher academic achievement score. Older children were found to have lower academic achievement score.
CONCLUSIONS: In CWE of normal intelligence, the majority of published literature found that academic achievement was lower than controls or reported norms. The high percentages of low achievement in CWE, especially in the older age group, and the stability of scores even as seizure frequency improved, highlights the need for early screening of learning problems, and continued surveillance.