Factors Affecting Health-Related Quality of Life in Children Undergoing Curative Treatment for Cancer: A Review of the Literature

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Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important measure to evaluate a child's reported treatment experience. Although there are numerous studies of HRQoL in children undergoing curative cancer treatment, there is limited literature on factors that influence this.


To review published studies that describe the HRQoL and associated factors in children undergoing curative cancer treatment.


Full-text publications in English from January 2005 to March 2013 were searched in PubMed, PsychINFO, and CINAHL for children ≤18 years of age undergoing curative cancer treatment. HRQoL-associated factors were categorized as cancer diagnosis, treatment, child, family, and community.


Twenty-six studies met the inclusion criteria. The most frequently used generic and cancer-specific instruments were PedsQL (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory) Generic and PedsQL Cancer, respectively. Cancer diagnosis and treatment were the most frequently identified variables; fewer studies measured family and community domains. Gender, treatment intensity, type of cancer treatments, time in treatment, and cancer diagnosis were correlated with HRQoL.


Our study highlights the need to develop interventions based on diagnosis and treatment regimen to improve the HRQoL in children undergoing curative cancer treatment.

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