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Parameters of anxiety in children with cancer vary according to instrument used

06 Feb 2019

The severity, patterns over time and predictors of anxiety in children and adolescents undergoing chemotherapy or haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) change with different instruments used, a new study has found.

Seventy-seven paediatric patients (median age 13.2 years; 35.1 percent female) participated, in whom self-reported anxiety at chemotherapy or HSCT initiation was measured using three instruments: the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) 3.0 Acute Cancer Module, the Paediatric Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Paediatric Short-Form (SF) and the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC).

At baseline, the percentage of participants who had severe anxiety ranged from 13.0–28.6 percent and varied according to the instrument used. When the PedsQL (procedural anxiety subscale: p=0.037) and PROMIS (p=0.013) instruments were used, significant improvements in anxiety were observed. No such change was recorded by the MASC.

There also seemed to be a variation among instruments regarding predictive factors. Univariate linear regression analysis showed that in the PedsQL instrument, age was a significant risk factor for anxiety, such that children aged 16–18 years reported more worries than those aged 8–11 years (p=0.036).

In comparison, the MASC instrument reported that lower annual household income was also a significant risk factor for anxiety in the participants (p=0.028).

The present findings highlight the heterogeneous nature of childhood anxiety and the need for careful consideration when choosing a measurement instrument, said researchers. Future studies about anxiety in paediatric cancer should focus on a particular facet of anxiety.

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Most Read Articles
5 days ago
No association exists between physical activity and the risk of urological cancer, according to a population-based prospective study in Japan.
6 days ago
Patients with childhood-onset inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to die than the general population, a study suggests.
6 days ago
Reduced caloric intake results in a significant improvement in glucose metabolism and body-fat composition, including liver-fat content, according to a study. Changes in ferritin levels appear to mediate the striking reduction in liver fat.
Pearl Toh, 15 Feb 2019
A latest study at ISC 2019 shows that even patients with large-core stroke damage can have a good outcome after mechanical clot removal with endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), depending on the size of the infarct and time lapses between stroke onset and treatment.