Screening for Psychological Late Effects in Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors


This publication was inspired by increasing evidence in the past years, indicating that many childhood cancer survivors suffer from psychological distress long after treatment ended. However, psychosocial issues are often neglected during follow-up care. Including screening for psychological distress before follow-up appointments might help address the topic in survivors who need support. The aim of this publication was to systematically review the available evidence on screening for psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors.

The authors found eight studies that investigated different screening tools for their utility in detecting psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors. The Brief Symptom Inventory-18 with an adapted cutoff score for childhood cancer survivors, and the newly developed short form of the Beck Depression Index were both shown to be of potential benefit as brief screening tools in follow-up care.

As a conclusion, the authors identified promising screening tools to be used to detect psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors. However, there is still a lack of studies addressing applicability and effectiveness when screening is routinely implemented into follow-up care. To improve the quality of follow-up care, and identify and treat survivors with psychological distress, screening tools should now be implemented and their adequacy further tested in day-to-day clinic life.