Cognition, psychosocial functioning, and health-related quality of life among childhood cancer survivors

Siegwart, Valerie; Benzing, Valentin; Spitzhuettl, Janine; Schmidt, Mirko; Grotzer, Michael; Steinlin, Maja; Leibundgut, Kurt; Roebers, Claudia; Everts, Regula (2020). Cognition, psychosocial functioning, and health-related quality of life among childhood cancer survivors (In Press). Neuropsychological rehabilitation, pp. 1-24. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/09602011.2020.1844243

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Long-term sequelae of cancer and its treatment render
childhood cancer (CC) survivors vulnerable to cognitive and
behavioural difficulties and likely affect their quality of life
(QoL). Our aim was to compare levels of cognition,
psychosocial functioning, and health-related QoL of CC
survivors to healthy controls and examine the associations
between these three domains. Seventy-eight CC survivors
(age range = 7–16 years, ≥ one year since cancer treatment)
and 56 healthy controls were included. Cognition (i.e., fluid
intelligence, executive functions, memory, processing
speed, and selective attention), psychosocial functioning,
and health-related QoL were assessed using standardized
tests and questionnaires. The cognitive performance,
parent-reported psychosocial behaviour, and health-related
QoL of the CC survivors were within the normative range.
However, working memory was significantly poorer in
survivors than controls, and visuospatial working memory
below the normative range was more commonly observed
among survivors than among controls. Processing speed
significantly predicted survivors’ performance in executive
functions. Among survivors, greater peer problems were
significantly associated with poorer cognitive functions and
health-related QoL. Despite the evidence for good
intellectual functioning, which might point towards
adequate reserves, in some survivors, domain-specific
difficulties may emerge years after cancer relating to
psychosocial development and QoL.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Siegwart, Valerie; Benzing, Valentin Johannes; Spitzhüttl, Janine Sophie; Schmidt, Mirko; Steinlin, Maja; Roebers, Claudia and Everts, Regula


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Taylor & Francis




Irène Semling-Kirchmeier

Date Deposited:

01 Dec 2020 08:28

Last Modified:

02 Dec 2020 01:34

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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