Impaired social functioning in adolescent and young adult sarcoma survivors: Prevalence and risk factors.

Abstract

PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

Sarcomas account for almost 11% of all cancers in adolescents and young adults (AYAs; 18-39 years). The AYA group is increasingly recognized as a distinct oncological age group with its own psychosocial challenges and biological characteristics. Social functioning has been shown to be severely affected in AYA cancer survivors. A population-based questionnaire study to identify AYA sarcoma survivors with impaired social functioning (ISF) and determine factors associated with ISF was conducted. More than one-quarter of AYA sarcoma survivors experience ISF long after diagnosis. These results emphasize the importance of follow-up care that is not only disease-orientated but also focuses on the psychological and social domains.

METHODS

AYAs from the population-based cross-sectional sarcoma survivorship study (SURVSARC) were included (n = 176). ISF was determined according to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 social functioning scale, and age- and sex-matched norm data were used as reference.

BACKGROUND

Sarcomas account for almost 11% of all cancers in adolescents and young adults (AYAs; 18-39 years). AYAs are increasingly recognized as a distinct oncological age group with its own psychosocial challenges and biological characteristics. Social functioning has been shown to be one of the most severely affected domains of health-related quality of life in AYA cancer survivors. This study aims to identify AYA sarcoma survivors with impaired social functioning (ISF) and determine clinical and psychosocial factors associated with ISF.

CONCLUSION

More than one-quarter of AYA sarcoma survivors experience ISF long after diagnosis. These results emphasize the importance of follow-up care that is not only disease-oriented but also focuses on the psychological and social domains.

RESULTS

The median time since diagnosis was 6.2 years (range, 1.8-11.2). More than one-quarter (28%) of AYA sarcoma survivors experienced ISF. Older age, higher tumor stage, comorbidities, lower experienced social support, uncertainty in relationships, feeling less attractive, sexual inactivity, unemployment, and financial difficulties were associated with ISF. In a multivariable analysis, unemployment (OR, 3.719; 95% CI, 1.261-10.967) and having to make lifestyle changes because of financial problems caused by one's physical condition or medical treatment (OR, 3.394; 95% CI, 1.118-10.300) were associated with ISF; better experienced social support was associated with non-ISF (OR, 0.739; 95% CI, 0.570-0.957).

More about this publication

Cancer
  • Volume 129
  • Issue nr. 9
  • Pages 1419-1431
  • Publication date 01-05-2023

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