I have performed a litterature study on the topic Posttraumtic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) in suvivors of childhood cancer. The latest fifteen years this has been the main focus in research concerning the psychosocial situation of pediatric cancer patients. I searched PubMed with the terms “children and cancer and PTSD” and included relevant publications containing quantiative measures on prevalence. Becoming absorbed in the available litterature I narrowed my focus down to the following two approaches: 1. What causes the vast discrepancy in prevalence described in the different research-reports?
2. What predictors have the authors found to be relevant for childhood cancer survivors’ risk of developing posttraumatic stress symptoms?
Twenty available publications turned out to be eligible for a closer study and comparision. As expected I found vast discrepancies as for the prevalences of PTSD and PTSS that were presented in the different reports. For PTSD-diagnosis alone the results varied from 0% -71% of the studied individuals. I compared the studies on measures like study size, criterias of inclusion, diagnostic approaches and which predictors had been focused on. As a main result I found significantly large differences in these measures; potentially contributing largely to the discrepancies. Further on, I found that predictors like time from diagnosis or ended treatment, the patients’ subjective perseption of the disease and female sex might be significant, although further investigation will be needed to consolidate these findings. Specifically obvious is the need for more prospective longitudinal studies. In general I see a need for numerous additional studies of larger sizes and more consitency in the research methodology on this field.