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Physical, Mental, and General Health Outcomes Among Childhood Cancer Survivors From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey

Mary Ann Cantrell

Michael A. Posner

childhood cancer survivors, female childhood cancer survivors, depression, quality of life
ONF 2022, 49(4), 359-367. DOI: 10.1188/22.ONF.359-367

Objectives: To examine the physical, mental, and general health among young adult childhood cancer survivors (CCS).

Sample & Setting: This secondary analysis study used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The analytic sample included 697 young adult CCS (537 women; 160 men).

Methods & Variables: Chi-square tests of independence were done to compare the rates across cancer survivorship groups on categorical variables. Logistic regression was performed to determine correlates with physical, mental, and general health.

Results: Female CCS had a significantly (p < 0.0001) greater number of “no days” in which they reported good physical, mental, and general health compared to male CCS. Female CCS were more likely to experience 30 days of poor physical health compared to male CCS (odds ratio [OR] = 1.8, p < 0.05) when controlling for education, race, and age. Depressed female CCS had higher odds of being in poor physical, mental, and general health (OR = 2.9, 7.6, and 2.6, respectively).

Implications for Nursing: Findings support the need for continued screening, following published practice guidelines, among young adult female CCS for emotional distress with the use of well-established distress and psychosocial assessment measures.

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