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Social adjustment of adolescent cancer patients transitioning off active treatment: A short-term prospective mixed methods study. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 03;66(3):e27530



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85056375145   2 Citations


BACKGROUND: Psychosocial follow-up in survivorship is a standard of care in pediatric oncology; however, little is known about patients' psychosocial functioning during the transition off active treatment, a unique time in the cancer journey. This study examined the social adjustment of adolescent cancer patients during this transition period, which has been understudied to date.

PROCEDURE: Participants were 21 patients (ages 12-18 years; age M = 14.71 years; 62% female, 81% White) with various cancer diagnoses. Patients and their parents completed the Social Competence subscale of the Youth Self-Report (YSR) and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), respectively, PedsQL Social Functioning subscale, and a semistructured interview 1-2 months prior to ending treatment (time 1) and 3-7 months after ending treatment (time 2).

RESULTS: YSR and CBCL social competence scores were within the normal range at both time points. PedsQL social functioning scores were more consistent with norms for pediatric cancer samples at time 1 and norms for healthy children at time 2, with self-reported scores significantly improving from time 1 to time 2. A subset of patients had elevated social concerns at time 1, a number that decreased by time 2. Interviews revealed both positive and negative themes related to peer relationships and support, quantity of friends, and socialization.

CONCLUSIONS: Most adolescent cancer patients are socially well adjusted as they transition off treatment, although a subset have elevated concerns. Interviews provide insight into complex social experiences not captured on questionnaires. Patients may benefit from screening and support during this unique time.

Author List

Chan SF, Hoag JA, Karst JS, Bingen KM


Kristin M. Bingen PhD Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jennifer A. Hoag PhD Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jeffrey S. Karst PhD Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Combined Modality Therapy
Follow-Up Studies
Prospective Studies
Quality of Life
Self Report
Social Adjustment
Surveys and Questionnaires
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