BACKGROUND: There is limited data on the longitudinal trajectories of psychiatric disorders in children with cancer and risk factors for their persistence. The current study aimed to longitudinally assess the trajectories and risk factors for anxiety and depressive symptoms and disorders in children and adolescents with cancer. METHODS: Children and adolescents with cancer and their parents completed the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Depression and Anxiety Module and were interviewed by the semi-structured Affective and Anxiety Modules of the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children (K-SADS), at 4 time points, 1, 4, 7, and 12 months following the diagnosis of cancer. RESULTS: Of the 99 patients enrolled, 48% met criteria for anxiety and/or depressive disorders at least once during the follow-up period. There was a significant decrease in PROMIS pediatric and parent anxiety and depression scores (all p's < 0.01) and in the rate of depressive disorders over time (p = 0.02), while rates of anxiety disorders remained stable. Anxiety PROMIS pediatric and parent scores at baseline, having brain tumors and being in the acute treatment phase significantly predicted the presences of anxiety disorders at endpoint. CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight the importance of screening for anxiety and disorders in children with cancer, especially among those with brain tumors and at the acute phase of treatment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank all patients and their families who participated and to the staff involved in data collection. This work was supported by the Israel Cancer Association, the Gesner Foundation for Medical Research, and Foundation Dora.
Foundation Dora; Gesner Foundation for Medical Research; Abraham Rothstein fund through the Israel Cancer Association, Grant/ Award Number: 20170158.
© 2021 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.