Quality of Life and Chemotherapy-related Symptoms ofTurkish Cancer Children Undergoing Chemotherapy


This cross-sectional and descriptive study was designed to determine symptoms emerging due to chemotherapytreatment and their effects on children’s quality of life. The research was carried out between February 2008 andFebruary 2009 at the pediatric oncology clinics in four hospitals, focusing on 93 patients receiving chemotherapy.A survey form, the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL 4.0) and the Memorial Symptom AssessmentScale (MSAS) were used as data collection tools. Chi-square and Student t tests were performed for data analysis.Some 51.6% of the children were aged 13-15 years old, and 51.8% were boys and 50.5% were diagnosed as havingsolid tumors. There were significant relations between: antimetabolite chemotherapeutics and feeling irritableand worrying (p=0.001, p=0.030); vinkoalkaloid and numbness/tingling in hands/feet (p=0.043); antracyclinesand lack of energy and skin changes (p=0.021, p=0.004); and corticosteroids and lack of appetite, nausea andsadness (p=0.008, p=0.009, p=0.009). Several symptoms such as feeling sad, worrying and feeling irritable causeda significant decrease in the total domain of quality of life scores (p=0.034, p=0.012, p=0.010, respectively).Chemotherapeutic drugs can cause symptoms that can seriously affect quality of life in children.