Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Comparing the Developmental Pathways of Leukemic Preschool Children with Their Healthy Peers: Communicative and Social Sequelae One Year After Treatment

Version 1 : Received: 6 May 2019 / Approved: 8 May 2019 / Online: 8 May 2019 (09:39:26 CEST)

How to cite: Tremolada, M.; Taverna, L.; Bonichini, S.; Pillon, M.; Biffi, A. Comparing the Developmental Pathways of Leukemic Preschool Children with Their Healthy Peers: Communicative and Social Sequelae One Year After Treatment. Preprints 2019, 2019050086 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201905.0086.v1). Tremolada, M.; Taverna, L.; Bonichini, S.; Pillon, M.; Biffi, A. Comparing the Developmental Pathways of Leukemic Preschool Children with Their Healthy Peers: Communicative and Social Sequelae One Year After Treatment. Preprints 2019, 2019050086 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201905.0086.v1).

Abstract

Early childhood is considered to be a period of rapid development, with the acquisition of abilities predicting future positive school competences. Motor, cognitive and social difficulties related to cancer therapies heavily impact the development of children with cancer. This study focused on two main aims: to assess the developmental pathways in preschool children with leukaemia one year post-treatment; and to compare these abilities with those of a control group of healthy peers. Forty-eight children and their families, recruited through the Haematology-Oncologic Clinic of the Department of Child and Woman Health (University of Padua), agreed to participate in this study. The children’s mean age was 4.36 years (SD = 1.07, range = 1.91–6 years), equally distributed by gender, most of whom were diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (N = 44). Matched healthy peers were recruited through paediatricians’ ambulatories. Each family was interviewed adopting the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales. Paired sample t-tests revealed that children, especially aged 42–72 months, were reported to have significantly more developmental difficulties than their healthy peers, particularly in verbal competence, social and coping skills and gross motor abilities. These findings suggest that the creation of specialized interventions for both parents and children may fill the possible delays in children’s development due to toxic therapies and their associated hospitalisation.

Subject Areas

preschool; leukaemia; adaptive behaviour; developmental skills; healthy peers

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