The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) to Identify Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Survivors At Risk for Neurocognitive Impairment

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Neurocognitive problems, including executive dysfunction, are potential late effects of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment. Surveillance for neurocognitive impairment in a timely and efficient manner is imperative to ongoing clinical care. We sought to determine if the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) Parent Form identified leukemia survivors with cognitive impairment. In this 28-site cross-sectional study, parents of 256 children, a mean of 8.9±2.2 years after treatment for standard-risk precursor-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia and in first remission, completed the BRIEF. We used a multivariate logistic regression to calculate the association between elevated scores on 3 composite BRIEF indices (Behavioral Regulation Index, Metacognition Index, Global Executive Composite [GEC]) and special education and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) outcomes. All BRIEF index scores were significantly associated with receipt of special education services or ADHD. The BRI was most strongly associated with ADHD (odds ratios=4.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.72-10.9). The GEC was most strongly associated with ADHD (odds ratios=4.46; 95% confidence interval, 1.77-11.22). Elevated scores on the BRIEF GEC were associated with low sensitivity (24.1 to 39.1) for detecting the outcomes but better specificity (range, 87.7 to 89.3). These results suggest that the parent-completed BRIEF is associated with clinical outcomes but is not a sensitive tool to identify leukemia survivors that require a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment.

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