Health-related quality-of-life and psychological distress of young adult survivors of childhood cancer in Hong Kong

Carmen W.H. Chan, Kai Chow Choi, Wai Tong Chien, Karis K.F. Cheng, William Goggins, Winnie K.W. So, Chi Kong Li, Hui Leung Yuen, Chi Keung Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose Previous literatures on young adult survivors of childhood cancer show inconsistent findings with regards to their psychological distress and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Much of the available data focus on negative patient outcomes following cancer treatments prescribed from 1970 to 1990. In the present study, HRQOL and psychological distress of young adult survivors in Hong Kong was examined. It focused on subjects who had received cancer treatments prescribed in the last two decades. Methods A structured telephone survey was conducted with 614 eligible survivors and 208 sibling controls in Hong Kong. Results The survivors reported significantly lower mean scores in physical role and functioning, whereas their mental, social, and psychological well-being was similar to that of their sibling controls. Being female, older age, longer survival time, and specific cancer diagnoses were the factors associated with poorer physical and mental adaptation. HRQOL was negatively correlated with psychological distress. Conclusions Findings of the study suggest that most survivors adjusted fairly well in mental, psychological, and social aspects. Survivors with a higher risk of poor HRQOL could benefit from appropriate screening and counseling at an early stage to mitigate their survivorship difficulties. Prospective follow-up studies on childhood cancer survivors are recommended to detect changes over longer survival periods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • childhood cancer
  • health-related quality-of-life
  • oncology
  • psychological distress
  • survivor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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