Abnormal weight gain with fatigue and stress in early survivorship after childhood brain tumor diagnosis

Academic Article


  • Background: Diagnosis and treatment for individuals with brain tumors during childhood involves sequelae, including abnormal weight gain. This symptom is commonly clustered with fatigue and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Children's Oncology Group recommendations include annual surveillance of body mass index (BMI) and cardiometabolic comorbidities; however, there has been little emphasis on individualized screening early in survivorship. Purpose: The primary purpose of this paper is to describe the findings of abnormal weight gain and its correlates in a sample of young childhood brain tumor survivors during early survivorship. Design and Methods: This cross-sectional multi-site study included brain tumor survivors of ages 8–12 years who were less than 6 years posttreatment. Convenience sampling from two pediatric cancer centers in the southern United States was utilized. Data collected included BMI, parent report of sleep, and child report of fatigue and stress. Results: The sample (N = 21) consisted of children who had received chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and surgery for childhood brain tumor. BMI in overweight and obese categories exceeded normative samples with 38% at or above the 85th percentile. There were clinically significant relationships with fatigue, stress about weight, tumor location, cranial radiation, chemotherapy, and recurrence. Practice Implications: Screening for abnormal weight gain and related factors, such as fatigue should begin early in survivorship after childhood brain tumor treatment completion with the aim of health promotion and disease prevention. Adiposity measurement techniques should be utilized in future clinical and research settings to improve assessment of cardiometabolic risk.
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    Author List

  • Johnson AH; Rodgers Phillips S; Rice M
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 3