A Detailed Prospective Longitudinal Assessment of Health Status in Children With Brain Tumors in the First Year After Diagnosis

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Abstract

Purpose

To compare health status (HS) in children with brain tumors at 1 (t1), 6 (t6), and 12 (t12) months after diagnosis with “normal” controls. To assess the relationship between parent-report and self-report HS for patients at t12.

Methods

HS was assessed using the Health Utilities Index Mark III parent-report at all time points and self-report at t12. Twenty-nine patients and 32 controls were included in analysis of parent-report, and 21 patients and 22 controls in self-report HS at t12. Nonparametric analyses were used.

Results

Patients scored significantly lower than controls for global overall HS at all time points for parent-report and at t12 for self-report (Pmax=0.009). For parent-report, patients scored significantly lower than controls in the attributes of emotion, cognition, and pain at t1 and t6, in ambulation at t1 and in dexterity at t6. At t12, the difference was statistically significant for parent-report cognition only (all P<0.01). No attributes reached significance for self-report at t12. For patients, correlations between parent-report and self-report were good (rs>0.73) for all Health Utilities Index Mark 3 scores with the exception of emotion and pain.

Conclusion

HS is significantly compromised in children with brain tumors over the first year after diagnosis, but improves with time. Parent-report and self-report differ, and both should be considered in assessing outcomes or defining interventions.

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