A prospective study of family predictors of health-related quality of life in pediatric brain tumor survivors

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Abstract

Background

The objective of this study was to examine prospectively the associations between family functioning at the end of tumor-directed treatment and the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of pediatric brain tumor survivors (PBTSs) approximately 9 months later.

Procedure

Thirty-five PBTS (age 6–16 years) and their mothers completed measures of family functioning and survivor HRQL within 5 months of completing tumor-directed therapy (baseline) and again approximately 9 months later (follow-up).

Results

Survivor-rated general family functioning at baseline significantly predicted mother proxy- and self-reported survivor HRQL at follow-up when controlling for survivor HRQL at baseline and relevant demographic and treatment-related variables.

Conclusions

Family functioning is a key factor contributing to survivor HRQL and should be screened throughout the course of tumor-directed treatment. Psychosocial interventions directed toward improving general family functioning may improve survivor well-being following the completion of treatment.

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