PURPOSE: The study aimed to compare the psychosocial development of young adult survivors of childhood cancer (YACCS) with a norm group of young adults from the general population.
METHODS: From 2017 to 2020, 558 YACCS (18-30 years, 51% female, 10.9% CNS cancer) who participated in the Dutch Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (DCCSS) LATER cohort (diagnosed 1963-2001) part 2 completed the Course of Life Questionnaire (CoLQ), assessing the achievement of milestones. Items were grouped into the scales autonomy, psychosexual, and social development. Differences between YACCS and norm group were examined with ANOVA and Cohen's d (CoLQ scales) and with logistic regression analysis and odds ratio (OR) (CoLQ items), for the total group and YACCS of CNS cancer.
RESULTS: The total group of YACCS did not report a less favorable psychosocial development than the norm group. YACCS of CNS cancer scored lower than the norm group (p < 0.001) on the scales autonomy (d = - 0.36) and psychosexual (d = - 0.46). Additionally, on half of the items of autonomy (0.25 ≤ OR ≤ 0.34), psychosexual (0.30 ≤ OR ≤ 0.48), and social (0.23 ≤ OR ≤ 0.47) development, YACCS of CNS cancer were less likely (p < 0.01) than the norm group to have achieved the milestones.
CONCLUSION: Overall, psychosocial development of YACCS was as favorable as the norm, but YACCS of CNS cancer were at risk of an unfavorable psychosocial development in all domains. Monitoring psychosocial development should be included in the standards of psychosocial care, especially for CNS cancer patients and survivors, to be able to trace delay. Personalized interventions should be offered to improve the psychosocial development in an early stage.