Tara Brinkman, PhD
Sixty percent of adult survivors of pediatric CNS tumors do not achieve full functional and social independence, according to results from a study conducted by researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.1
Investigators assessed 306 adult survivors who completed baseline evaluations as part of the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study. The study evaluated several indicators of independence, including living independently, employment, assistance with personal care and/or routine needs, marital status, and possession of a driver’s license. Participants were also evaluated for physical performance impairment, which was defined as scores <10th percentile for aerobic capacity, adaptive function, balance, flexibility, strength, and mobility.
Forty percent of adult survivors were deemed independent, 34% were moderately independent, and 26% were nonindependent. Independent patients had achieved “independence consistent with societal expectations.” Moderately independent patients are not fully independent, but can do some of the things expected of an adult.
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