Knowledge of diagnosis, treatment history, and risk of late effects among childhood cancer survivors and parents: The impact of a survivorship clinic

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Background.Childhood cancer survivors are at risk for treatment-related adverse health outcomes, known as late effects. Through matched and longitudinal cohorts, we assessed the impact of survivorship care on patient and parent knowledge of treatment history and associated health risks.Procedure.Childhood cancer survivors were recruited from a single-institution survivorship clinic and matched with survivors receiving routine follow-up care (controls) on diagnosis, age, and time off therapy. One hundred seventy-four participants completed telephone interviews assessing knowledge of diagnosis, treatment history, and risk of late effects. Additionally, 48 new survivorship patients were followed longitudinally with serial interviews for 18 months.Results.In the case-control study, survivorship participants were more likely than controls to correctly report their diagnosis (98% vs. 90%, P = 0.039) and indicate a previous discussion of risk of late effects (99% vs. 62%, P < 0.0001). Compared to controls, survivorship participants were 13% more sensitive reporting chemotherapeutics (95%CI 2.8–23.7%, P = 0.013) and 12% more sensitive reporting late effect risk (95%CI 7.3–16.6%, P < 0.0001). In the longitudinal cohort, participants were 7% more sensitive reporting chemotherapeutics (95%CI 5.4–10.8%, P < 0.001) and 9% more sensitive reporting late effect risk (95%CI 5.6–23.8%, P < 0.001) at 3 months compared to baseline. In regression analysis, baseline knowledge correlated with subsequent interview performance, and time since survivorship visit correlated with decreased knowledge of late effects, but not diagnosis or treatment history.Conclusions.Survivorship care was associated with increased knowledge of diagnosis, treatment history, and risk of late effects in both cohorts. Knowledge of late effects decreases with time, suggesting the need for additional educational strategies. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015;62:1444–1451. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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