Objective: To investigate the neurodevelopmental outcome of childhood cancer survivors treated at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC).
Methods: Study participants were children treated at EWMSC from January 2003 to March 31, 2012 for various childhood cancers. All had completed treatment and were in remission. The McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities (MSCA) was administered. The study was conducted from December 2011 to March 31, 2012.
Results: Twenty-six children were evaluated, a response rate of 74%. There were 12 males and 14 females. Ages ranged from 3.25 to 9.00 years. Four (15.4%) children scored a general cognitive index (GCI) < 68. One child (3.8%) scored a GCI > 132. The children’s mean estimated mental age was found to be significantly lower than their mean actual age (p = 0.0086). Children treated for solid tumours had the least difference between their actual ages and estimated mental ages (p = 0.0301). The mean GCI for the genders was 97.4 for females and 81.0 for males; this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.0302). Age at diagnosis, type and length of treatment were not found to significantly affect development.
Conclusion: The paediatric cancer survivors in this survey were found to have delays in their development. This group of children should have their development closely monitored. This would ensure that any delays in development can be discovered early and appropriate interventions instituted, so that childhood cancer survivors are adequately prepared for adult life beyond cancer.