Purpose: To examine changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and its predictors during the first 2 years after initial cancer diagnosis in adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer. Patients and Methods: A multicenter, longitudinal, prospective study was conducted among a diverse sample of AYA patients with cancer ages 15 to 39 years. One hundred seventy-six patients (75% response) completed a self-report measure of HRQoL (Short Form-36 [SF-36]) within the first 4 months after diagnosis and again 12 and 24 months later. Linear mixed models with random intercepts and slopes estimated changes in QoL. Results: Recently diagnosed AYA patients with cancer had significantly worse physical component scale (PCS) scores (38.7 v 52.8; P < .001) and mental component scale (MCS) scores (42.9 v 48.9; P < .001) when compared with population norms. Significant improvements in PCS and MCS scores from baseline to 24-month follow-up were observed; however, these increases were largest during the first 12 months. At the 24-month follow-up, AYA patients still had significantly lower PCS scores (48.0 v 52.8; P < .001) and MCS scores (45.8 v 48.9; P = .002) when compared with population norms. Multivariable analyses revealed that improvements in PCS and MCS scores were primarily a function of being off-treatment and being involved in school or work. PCS but not MCS scores were worse for AYA patients diagnosed with cancers with poorer prognoses. Conclusion: Although HRQoL improved over time, it was still compromised 24 months after primary diagnosis. Given relatively little observed improvement in HRQoL during the 12- to 24-month period after diagnosis, AYA patients may benefit from supportive care interventions administered during the second year after diagnosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research