Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has a high likelihood of survival, but therapy is prolonged and fraught with the possibility of serious side effects, which may also affect parents’ health-related quality of life (HRQOL). For a study, researchers reported information on 526 parents of 310 children who received treatment for ALL in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark in accordance with the NOPHO ALL2008-protocol.

At least 6 months following the conclusion of therapy, parents were asked to complete the 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36), and the results were compared with Norwegian reference data. A study-specific questionnaire was used to gather information on parental upbringing. Both the physical and mental summary indices for the participating parents were considerably lower than those of the reference sample, although only the mental summary index exceeded a minimal clinically meaningful difference (Mental Component Summary [MCS]).

In the MCS, mothers performed worse than dads, quit their jobs, and cared more for the afflicted kid. Living in Finland or Denmark and being male were both related to higher mental HRQOL (compared to Sweden). The physical and mental scores among spouses had minimal to moderate correlations.

In conclusion, even after therapy, ALL still had a poor impact on parental HRQOL, particularly the mental dimensions. Findings indicated that women might need more help since they are more affected than fathers.

Reference: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjh.18350