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Title: Neurocognitive and psychosocial late effects of cranial radiotherapy in adult survivors of childhood and adolescent cancers
Author: Payne, Lara
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 8263
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Overview This thesis examines the late effects of cranial radiotherapy in adult survivors of childhood cancers. Part 1 is a systematic literature review which aims to extend previous research by summarising the neurocognitive outcomes associated with the specific effects of cranial radiotherapy up to 34 years after completing treatment. Results indicated that cranial radiotherapy has greater effects on memory, processing speed, and attention than intelligence and general executive functions. Younger age at diagnosis and higher radiotherapy dosage were also associated with increased risk of adverse neurocognitive outcomes in adulthood. Part 2 is an empirical paper which evaluates neurocognitive and psychosocial late effects of cranial radiotherapy within a specific subgroup of survivors of adolescent cancers. Adult survivors reported generally positive social adjustment, and IQ scores and levels of depression and anxiety were comparable to the normal population. Total radiotherapy dosage and receiving additional chemotherapy significantly predicted IQ. However, findings must be interpreted with caution, and the need for larger longitudinal studies with sufficient statistical power to fully characterise enduring deficits and determine factors that place survivors at greatest risk is discussed. Part 3 is a critical appraisal of the research process which discusses issues of project development and the theoretical and methodological limitations inherent in studying the specific effects of cranial radiotherapy. The concept of post-traumatic growth and its applications to the current findings are also considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available