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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Educational late effects among survivors of childhood cancer McMillan, Amy

Abstract

Increased survival rates of childhood cancer have meant a growing population of survivors within the education system. Although research suggests that survivors face educational difficulties, methodological shortcomings and lack of consensus have contributed to difficulties interpreting this literature. Moreover, there exists a paucity of literature objectively measuring survivors' educational outcomes, particularly achievement. In this population-based research, 782 survivors of childhood cancer from the BC cancer registry, and BC school system from 1995-2004, were age and gender-matched with a randomly selected control group of 8386 BC schoolchildren. Objective educational measures including Foundation Skills Assessments (FSAs), Provincial examinations, and special education designations from the BC Ministry of Education were compared between the survivor and control cohorts; potential disease-related risks among survivors were assessed. Survivors were significantly more likely than controls to have special education or physical disability designations and performed significantly more poorly on several FSAs. Notably, once survivors of central nervous system (CNS) tumours and leukemia were excluded from the analysis, there were no significant achievement differences. Survivors younger at diagnosis (

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