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. 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:

09 Sep 2021 10:34

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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