Background: Children are at risk for psychosocial and adaptive morbidities following diagnosis of and treatment for a pediatric brain tumor. This study examined whether familial/demographic, developmental, diagnostic, or treatment-related variables best predict the acute psychosocial adjustment and adaptive functioning of children soon after an initial diagnosis. Procedure: Participants included 56 children (mean age=10.72, SD=4.02) newly diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor. Parents completed background/demographic forms and completed ratings of children's behavioral and emotional symptoms, and adaptive behavior. Diagnostic and treatment-related information was abstracted from medical records. Results: Parent ratings of behavioral symptoms and adaptive functioning were within normative expectation, although rates of clinical impairment in adaptive functioning exceeded expected rates. A combination of familial/demographic and diagnostic variables were associated with acute functioning. In multiple regressions, tumor size best predicted adaptive functioning after initial diagnosis, whereas tumor location best predicted variance in behavioral symptoms. Conclusions: Children may be more vulnerable to acute impairment in adaptive functioning following diagnosis of a pediatric brain tumor, but rates of behavioral symptoms were within expectation. Familial, sociodemographic, and diagnostic variables may help to identify those most at risk of impairment. Screening of these factors within tertiary care settings will be useful to identify those most in need of psychosocial care during the initial phases of treatment.
- Brain tumor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health