Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in young adult survivors of childhood cancer

Mary T. Rourke, Wendy L. Hobbie, Lisa Schwartz, Anne E. Kazak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Background. Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were assessed in young adult survivors of childhood cancer, including the role of four sets of variables in understanding PTSD in this population: demographic characteristics, disease and treatment factors, psychosocial and functional outcomes, and cancer-related beliefs. Procedure. One hundred eighty-two survivors of pediatric malignancies, ages 18-37 years old completed a psychiatric interview and self-report measures. Survivors were ≥5 years from diagnosis and ≥2 years from the completion of cancer treatment for a variety of cancers. Results. Nearly 16% of the sample had PTSD. Most survivors reported re-experiencing symptoms. There were no significant differences between survivors with and without PTSD on demographic or disease and treatment variables. Survivors with PTSD reported more psychological problems and negative beliefs about their illness and health status than those without PTSD. A logistic regression model predicted 50% of the variance in PTSD. Conclusions. PTSD affects a subset of young adult cancer survivors. These survivors experience more psychological problems in general. Beliefs about the cancer experience are more potent predictors of PTSD than demographic or disease and treatment factors. Screening for PTSS and PTSD in cancer survivors is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatric oncology
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Survival
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in young adult survivors of childhood cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this