Health Care Use of Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer: The British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Cornelia Rebholz
  • Clare Frobisher
  • David Winter
  • CE Kuehni

Colleges, School and Institutes


PURPOSE: Survivors of childhood cancer are at high risk of chronic conditions, but few studies investigated whether this translates into increased health care utilization. We compared health care service utilization between childhood cancer survivors and the general British population and investigated potential risk factors. METHODS: We used data from the British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, a population-based cohort of 17,981 individuals diagnosed with childhood cancer (1940-1991) and surviving ≥ 5 years. Frequency of talks to a doctor, hospital outpatient visits, and day-patient and inpatient hospitalizations were ascertained by questionnaire in 10,483 survivors and were compared with the General Household Survey 2002 data by using logistic regression. Results: Among survivors, 16.5% had talked to a doctor in the last 2 weeks, 25.5% had attended the outpatient department of a hospital in the last 3 months, 11.9% had been hospitalized as a day patient in the last 12 months, and 9.8% had been hospitalized as an inpatient in the last 12 months. Survivors had talked slightly more often to a doctor than the general population (odds ratio [OR], 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.3) and experienced increased hospital outpatient visits (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 2.3 to 2.8), day-patient hospitalizations (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.3 to 1.6) and inpatient hospitalizations (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.7 to 2.2). Survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma, neuroblastoma, and Wilms tumor had the highest ORs for day-patient care, whereas survivors of CNS tumors and bone sarcomas had the highest OR for outpatient and inpatient care. The OR of health care use did not vary significantly with age of survivor. CONCLUSION: We have quantified how excess morbidity experienced by survivors of childhood cancer translates into increased use of health care facilities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4181-4188
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2011

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