Various functional health domains significantly affect psychological risk in adolescent and adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (cALL), according to a study published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer

Previous studies have demonstrated that survivors of cALL have an increased risk of physical and psychological morbidities, such as negative mood, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and global distress compared with those without the disease. The type of domains, and the extent to which they contribute to psychological risk, require further exploration. 

For this population study of the PETALE cohort in Canada, researchers collected data from 105 adolescent (ages 13-18) and 182 adult (19 and older) survivors of cALL. Socioeconomic and clinical data, as well as psychological status, functional health status, and social functioning were evaluated. 

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Results showed that among adolescents, the rates of mild-severe anxiety, depression, and distress were 14%, 21%, and 30% respectively, and among adult survivors were 27%, 20%, and 19%, respectively. 

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The most frequently observed health domains significantly associated with anxiety, depression, and distress risk were sleeping and breathing in adolescents, and vitality/fatigue, discomfort/symptoms, mental functioning, and sleeping in adults. 

Mental function was associated with psychological risk across all age groups. 

Overall health status and mental function domains were associated with psychological risk, and further analysis also revealed that social and work/school functioning were also contributing factors. 

The authors concluded that “future studies should explore functional domains that are most often reported as problematic by young survivors as interventions targeting these are increasingly available for the adult population who faces cancer and should be adapted and proposed to [childhood cancer survivors].” 


Anestin AS, Lippe S, Robaey P, et al. Psychological risk in long‐term survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and its association with functional health status: A PETALE cohort study[published online August 7, 2018]. Pediatr Blood Cancer. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27356