Impaired social functioning in adolescent and young adult sarcoma survivors: Prevalence and risk factors

Cas Drabbe, Elena S. Coenraadts, Winan J. van Houdt, Michiel A.J. van de Sande, Johannes J. Bonenkamp, Jacco J. de Haan, Johanna W.M. Nin, Cornelis Verhoef, Winette T.A. van der Graaf, Olga Husson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Sarcomas account for almost 11% of all cancers in adolescents and young adults (AYAs; 18–39 years). AYAs are increasingly recognized as a distinct oncological age group with its own psychosocial challenges and biological characteristics. Social functioning has been shown to be one of the most severely affected domains of health-related quality of life in AYA cancer survivors. This study aims to identify AYA sarcoma survivors with impaired social functioning (ISF) and determine clinical and psychosocial factors associated with ISF. Methods: AYAs from the population-based cross-sectional sarcoma survivorship study (SURVSARC) were included (n = 176). ISF was determined according to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 social functioning scale, and age- and sex-matched norm data were used as reference. Results: The median time since diagnosis was 6.2 years (range, 1.8–11.2). More than one-quarter (28%) of AYA sarcoma survivors experienced ISF. Older age, higher tumor stage, comorbidities, lower experienced social support, uncertainty in relationships, feeling less attractive, sexual inactivity, unemployment, and financial difficulties were associated with ISF. In a multivariable analysis, unemployment (OR, 3.719; 95% CI, 1.261–10.967) and having to make lifestyle changes because of financial problems caused by one's physical condition or medical treatment (OR, 3.394; 95% CI, 1.118–10.300) were associated with ISF; better experienced social support was associated with non-ISF (OR, 0.739; 95% CI, 0.570–0.957). Conclusion: More than one-quarter of AYA sarcoma survivors experience ISF long after diagnosis. These results emphasize the importance of follow-up care that is not only disease-oriented but also focuses on the psychological and social domains. Plain Language Summary: Sarcomas account for almost 11% of all cancers in adolescents and young adults (AYAs; 18–39 years). The AYA group is increasingly recognized as a distinct oncological age group with its own psychosocial challenges and biological characteristics. Social functioning has been shown to be severely affected in AYA cancer survivors. A population-based questionnaire study to identify AYA sarcoma survivors with impaired social functioning (ISF) and determine factors associated with ISF was conducted. More than one-quarter of AYA sarcoma survivors experience ISF long after diagnosis. These results emphasize the importance of follow-up care that is not only disease-orientated but also focuses on the psychological and social domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1431
Number of pages13
JournalCancer
Volume129
Issue number9
Early online date14 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Patient Reported Outcomes Following Initial Treatment and Long‐term Evaluation of Survivorship registry was funded by the Investment Grant Medium (#480‐08‐009) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (The Hague, The Netherlands). The present research was supported by the Investment Grant Large (2016/04981/ZONMW‐91101002) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (The Hague, the Netherlands). Olga Husson is supported by a Social Psychology Fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society (#KUN2015‐7527) and Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research VIDI grant (198.007).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Cancer Society.

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