Problem: Adolescence is a critical developmental period, but little research is available on the quality of life for individuals ages 10–19, especially those who have faced a life-threatening illness. This integrative review examines factors related to quality of life among survivors of a childhood cancer that occurred during adolescence. Eligibility Criteria: The Garrard Matrix Method guided this review of studies that were conducted from 1990 to 2017. Studies were eligible if participants were diagnosed with cancer during adolescence, the studies followed survivorship from cancer diagnosis to treatment completion, and health-related quality of life measures were taken. Sample: Fifteen articles met the inclusion criteria. Results: Most survivors of a childhood cancer that occurred during adolescence reported physical and psychological health-related quality of life scores similar to, or higher than, healthy controls. Risk factors for poorer quality of life were type of cancer, type of treatment, late effects, and time since diagnosis. Factors for better quality of life were older age, positive feelings such as happiness and optimism, social support, and coping strategies. Most studies used the Short Form-36 and the PedsQL Generic Core Scales to measure quality of life. Conclusions: Protective factors such as social support and subjective feelings positively affected quality of life. Implications: In order to promote the best patient outcomes, relevant protective factors that improve quality of life should be incorporated in long-term care plans for survivors of a childhood cancer that occurred during adolescence.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Graduate School Summer Assistantship from University of North Carolina at Greensboro while the first author was in the doctoral program.
- Childhood cancer
- Quality of life