To identify whether a health-related quality of life (HRQoL) instrument intended to capture reproductive concerns is sensitive and appropriate for adolescent patients with cancer.
Pilot testing was completed by administering a 10-item instrument designed to identify reproductive concerns of female adolescent patients with cancer aged 12–18. Parents were also asked to predict their daughters’ responses. Fourteen patients and parents participated. The main outcome measures were language, relevance, accuracy, sensitivity, and missing content regarding the HRQoL instrument. Two pediatric hospitals and 1 local support group for patients and survivors served as the setting for this study.
The majority of parents provided inaccurate predictions of their daughters’ responses regarding their reproductive concerns. Overall, parents underestimated their daughters’ concerns because the majority of adolescents reported a strong desire for future parenthood whereas parents expected their daughters to be satisfied with survivorship.
Adolescent patients with cancer have strong reproductive concerns; however, this may not be captured on current HRQoL instruments and may be further neglected due to parents’ unawareness. Discussions should be encouraged with adolescent patients before beginning treatment regarding their concerns and values about parenting in the future and cannot rely on parent-proxy reports.