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Fatigue and health related quality of life in children and adolescents with cancer

European Journal of Oncology Nursing, Volume 29, August 2017, Pages 39-46

Abstract

Purpose

The study examined the different dimensions of fatigue (general, sleep/rest, cognitive), health related quality of life (HRQL) (physical, emotional, cognitive, social), and the relationships between fatigue and HRQL in hospitalized children and adolescents with cancer in Brazil.

Method

Participants were recruited from a pediatric oncology inpatient unit in a comprehensive cancer care hospital in southeast Brazil. They completed the PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale and the PedsQL Inventory of Quality of Life (Generic and Cancer module) once during hospitalization.

Results

The majority (66.7%) of the participants (n = 38; mean age 12.1 ± 2.9 years) had total fatigue scores < 75 on 0 to 100 scale; with the mean total fatigue score of 63.8 ± 18.5. The majority (72.2% generic; 83.3% cancer modules) had total PedsQL scores < 75 on 0 to 100 scale. The mean PedsQL score on generic module (61.1 ± 17.0) was similar to the mean PedsQL score cancer module (59.1 ± 16.7). Significant correlations were found between total fatigue and quality of life generic (r = 0.63, p = 0.000) and cancer module (r = 0.74, p = 0.000).

Conclusions

The study is the first to report fatigue and health related quality of life in hospitalized children and adolescents with cancer in Brazil. Similar to experiences of other children in the world, our findings indicate that children and adolescents with cancer had problems with fatigue that were associated with low HRQL. Future studies are recommended to examine interventions (exercise, leisurely activities) that may alleviate fatigue and improve HRQL in pediatric patients with cancer.

Highlights

  • This is a quantitative study about fatigue and health related quality of life in hospitalized children and adolescent with cancer.
  • Our data show fatigue and quality of life problems in this population.
  • There were significant correlations between total fatigue and quality of life (generic and cancer modules).
  • There are still few studies that suggest intervention to minimize these problems.

Footnotes

a School of Nursing at Rio de Janeiro State University, Boulevard 28 de Setembro, 157, Vila Isabel, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

b University of California Los Angeles, School of Nursing, 700 Tiverton Avenue, Factor Building, Rm 5-942 Los Angeles, CA, USA

c University of Saskatchewan at College of Medicine, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

d University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, Bandeirantes Avenue, 3900, Ribeirão Preto, 14040-902 SP, Brazil

Corresponding author.