A systematic review of self-reported pain in childhood cancer survivors
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionActa Paediatrica. 2019, 109 (1), 56-70. 10.1111/apa.14977
Aim The aim of this systematic review was to examine the frequency and risk factors of pain among long‐term childhood cancer survivors based on self‐reported questionnaire studies. Participants aged 21 years or younger at the time of their cancer diagnosis were included. Methods The Medline (OVID), PubMed and PsycINFO databases were searched for manuscripts published between January 1, 1990, and August 31, 2018, following the PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews. Results In total, 25 studies, including five prospective cohort studies measuring pain up to 32 years post‐diagnosis, were identified. Female sex, young age at diagnosis, older age at assessment, greater time since diagnosis, specific diagnoses (such as central nervous system [CNS] tumours, bone tumours and sarcoma), fatigue and persistent emotional distress were associated with cancer‐related pain. The most common pain types were migraines, headaches and back pain. Conclusion A subset of childhood cancer survivors reported clinically significant self‐reported pain. Identifying survivor subgroups at risk for pain could be essential for developing tailored intervention and prevention strategies. Prospective studies that use standardised and psychometrically sound tools to evaluate pain are needed.