Treatment-related Anxiety for Pediatric Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Examined

A new study examined levels of procedure-related anxiety in children with standard-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
A new study examined levels of procedure-related anxiety in children with standard-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

A new study examined levels of procedure-related anxiety in children with standard-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during their initial year of treatment.

Anxiety related to procedure, treatment, nausea, and pain was evaluated. Impacting factors that were considered included patient factors (eg, sex, age, ethnicity, treatment type) as well as parental and family demographics (eg, family size and income level). Symptom scores were also recorded.1

Study data were obtained from 31 participating Children's Oncology Group sites, and the children who were evaluated ranged in age from 2 to 10 years. At intervals of 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year postdiagnosis, parents completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 3.0 Cancer Module (proxy) and the General Functioning Scale of the Family Assessment Device in addition to a demographic survey.

Children with ALL displayed decreasing levels of procedure-related anxiety, treatment-related anxiety, and pain during their first year of treatment. The mean nausea score at the 6-month testing period was worse compared with the other assessments. Older children experienced greater nausea. Younger age at diagnosis was linked to increased procedure-related anxiety.

The investigators suggest an emphasis on minimizing procedure-related anxiety in younger patients with ALL and greater control of nausea in older pediatric patients with ALL are warranted.

REFERENCE

1. Dupuis LL, Lu X, Mitchell HR, et al. Anxiety, pain, and nausea during the treatment of standard-risk childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A prospective, longitudinal study from the Children's Oncology Group [published online ahead of print January 15, 2016]. Cancer. doi:10.1002/cncr.29876.

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