Neurocognitive and psychosocial outcomes in pediatric brain tumor survivors

Peter L. Stavinoha*, Martha A. Askins, Stephanie K Powell, Natasha Pillay Smiley, Rhonda S. Robert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The late neurocognitive and psychosocial effects of treatment for pediatric brain tumor (PBT) represent important areas of clinical focus and ongoing research. Neurocognitive sequelae and associated problems with learning and socioemotional development negatively impact PBT survivors’ overall health-related quality of life, educational attainment and employment rates. Multiple factors including tumor features and associated complications, treatment methods, individual protective and vulnerability factors and accessibility of environmental supports contribute to the neurocognitive and psychosocial outcomes in PBT survivors. Declines in overall measured intelligence are common and may persist years after treatment. Core deficits in attention, processing speed and working memory are postulated to underlie problems with overall intellectual development, academic achievement and career attainment. Additionally, psychological problems after PBT can include depression, anxiety and psychosocial adjustment issues. Several intervention paradigms are briefly described, though to date research on innovative, specific and effective interventions for neurocognitive late effects is still in its early stages. This article reviews the existing research for understanding PBT late effects and highlights the need for innovative research to enhance neurocognitive and psychosocial outcomes in PBT survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Cognitive
  • Late effects
  • Neurocognitive
  • Pediatric brain tumor
  • Psychosocial
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering


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