Parent-reported cognition of children with cancer and its potential clinical usefulness.

Jin Shei Lai*, Frank Zelko, Kevin R. Krull, David Cella, Cindy Nowinski, Peter E. Manley, Stewart Goldman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cognitive dysfunction is a common concern for children with brain tumors (BTs) or those receiving central nervous system (CNS) toxic cancer treatments. Perceived cognitive function (PCF) is an economical screening that may be used to trigger full, formal cognitive testing. We assessed the potential clinical utility of PCF by comparing parent-reported scores for children with cancer with scores from the general US population. Children (n = 515; mean age = 13.5 years; 57.0 % male) and one of their parents were recruited from pediatric oncology clinics. Most children (53.3 %) had a diagnosis of CNS tumor with an average time since diagnosis of 5.6 years. PCF was evaluated using the pediatric PCF item bank (pedsPCF), which was developed and normed on a sample drawn from the US general pediatric population. Children also completed computer-based neuropsychological tests. We tested relationships between PCF and clinical variables. Differential item functioning (DIF) was used to evaluate measurement bias between the samples. No item showed DIF, supporting the use of pedsPCF in the cancer sample. PedsPCF differentiated children with (vs. without) a BT, p < 0.01, and groups defined by years since diagnosis, p < 0.01. It significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with computerized neuropsychological tests in 40 of 60 comparisons. Children with BTs were rated as having worse pedsPCF scores than the norm, regardless of years since diagnosis. PCF significantly differentiated cancer survivors with various clinical characteristics. It is brief and easy to implement. PCF should be considered for routine care of pediatric cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1058
Number of pages10
JournalQuality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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