BMJ open 2017 08 117(8) e014505 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014505
For ill children as well as for their parents and siblings, childhood cancer poses a major challenge. Little is known about the reintegration into daily life of childhood cancer survivors and their families. The aim of this prospective observational study is to further the understanding of the role of rehabilitation measures in the reintegration process of childhood leukaemia or brain tumour survivors and their family members after the end of cancer treatment.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS
This prospective observational study consists of three study arms: a quantitative study in cooperation with three German paediatric oncological study registries (study arm 1), a quantitative study in cooperation with a rehabilitation clinic that offers a family-oriented paediatric oncological rehabilitation programme (study arm 2) and a qualitative study at 12-month follow-up including families from the study arms 1 and 2 (study arm 3). In study arm 1, children, parents and siblings are surveyed after treatment (baseline), 4-6 months after baseline measurement and at 12-month follow-up. In study arm 2, data are collected at the beginning and at the end of the rehabilitation measure and at 12-month follow-up. Families are assessed with standardised questionnaires on quality of life, emotional and behavioural symptoms, depression, anxiety, fear of progression, coping and family functioning. Furthermore, self-developed items on rehabilitation aims and reintegration into daily life are used. Where applicable, users and non-users of rehabilitation measures will be compared regarding the outcome parameters. Longitudinal data will be analysed by means of multivariate analysis strategies. Reference values will be used for comparisons if applicable. Qualitative data will be analysed using thematic analysis.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION
This study has been approved by the medical ethics committee of the Medical Chamber of Hamburg. Data will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences.