Psychological symptom burden in children and adolescents after leukemia or lymphoma diseases.


A cancer diagnosis represents a major challenge for children and young people at an early stage in life. Objective of the present study is the investigation of mental health and psychosocial burden in children and young adolescents two or more years after the treatment of leukemia (ALL, AML) or lymphoma disease (NHL) compared to peers not suffering from cancer as well as available standard values. 42 former patients and 23 healthy peers were included in the comparative analysis. In addition to socio-demographic and medical information the following validated questionnaires were used: the General Depression Scale (ADS), the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for the detection of behavioral difficulties and strengths, the KINDL-R questionnaire for assessing quality of life in children and adolescents, the Herth Hope Index (HHI), the Social Questionnaire (SFS 4-6) for assessing the educational integration and the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) to measure self-efficacy. Children and young adolescent survivors of leukemia or lymphoma report significantly less depressive symptoms and significantly higher quality of life compared to a healthy age-matched comparison sample and representative standard values. Beyond, former patients do not differ significantly in psychological and psychosocial aspects compared to a healthy age-matched comparison sample and available standard values.