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Child-related characteristics predicting subsequent health-related quality of life in 8 to 14 year old children with and without cerebellar tumours: a prospective longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kim S. Bull, Christina Liossi, David Culliford, Janet L. Peacock, Colin R. Kennedy

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

King's Authors


Background: We identified child-related determinants of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children aged 8–14 years who were treated for 2 common types of pediatric brain tumors.

Methods: Questionnaire measures of HRQoL and psychometric assessments were completed by 110 children on 3 occasions over 24 months. Of these 110, 72 were within 3 years of diagnosis of a cerebellar tumor (37 standard-risk medulloblastoma, 35 low-grade cerebellar astrocytoma), and 38 were in a nontumor group. HRQoL, executive function, health status, and behavioral difficulties were also assessed by parents and teachers as appropriate. Regression modeling was used to relate HRQoL z scores to age, sex, socioeconomic status, and 5 domains of functioning: Cognition, Emotion, Social, Motor and Sensory, and Behavior.

Results: HRQoL z scores were significantly lower after astrocytoma than those in the nontumor group and significantly lower again in the medulloblastoma group, both by self-report and by parent-report. In regression modeling, significant child-related predictors of poorer HRQoL z scores by self-report were poorer cognitive and emotional function (both z scores) and greater age (years) at enrollment (B = 0.038, 0.098, 0.136, respectively). By parent-report, poorer cognitive, emotional and motor or sensory function (z score) were predictive of lower subsequent HRQoL of the child (B = 0.043, 0.112, 0.019, respectively), while age at enrollment was not.

Conclusions: Early screening of cognitive and emotional function in this age group, which are potentially amenable to change, could identify those at risk of poor HRQoL and provide a rational basis for interventions to improve HRQoL.

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