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OBJECTIVE: To examine executive control and self-regulation abilities in survivors of childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, thirty-five survivors of childhood ALL from Sahukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Children Hospital and Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan were selected through convenient sampling technique from March 2013 to February 2014. Thirty-five demographically matched healthy children were recruited from local community as control-group. Trail Making Test (TMT) and Self-regulation Questionnaire was administered to childhood ALL survivors and healthy children by researchers.
RESULTS: Mean age of ALL survivors and healthy children was 14.25±2.71 years 14.34±2.98 years respectively. ALL group showed significant executive control deficit as compared to control group. Mean TMT-part A was 35.25±2.38 seconds and 16.14±2.80 seconds in ALL group and control group respectively (p<0.001) while mean TMT-part B was 105.62±2.38 seconds & 33.42±2.30 seconds in ALL group and control group respectively (p<0.001). In addition, both groups performed significantly different on self-regulation questionnaire. ALL group as compared to control group showed impaired emotional regulation (18.65±1.10 seconds vs. 5.57±0.85 seconds respectively; p<0.001); behavioral regulation (14.97±0.92 seconds vs. 4.68±0.75 second respectively; p<0.001); and cognitive regulation (3.57±0.85 seconds vs. 10.60±1.55 seconds respectively; p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Survivors of childhood ALL have marked deficits in social cognition. Treatment protocols might also focus on psychosocial deterioration for better patient care.
KEY WORDS: Executive Function (MeSH); Emotion (MeSH); Trail Making Test (MeSH); Self-Regulation Questionnaire (Non-MeSH); Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (Non-MeSH); Lymphoproliferative Disorders (MeSH); Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma (MeSH); Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma (MeSH); Pediatric Cancer (Non-MeSH); Child (MeSH)
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