Understanding neurocognitive outcomes in Pediatric Brain Tumour
Survivors in context: Examining medical and sociodemographic risk
Background. Pediatric Brain Tumour Survivors (PBTS) are at risk
of neurocognitive impairments. This study assesses both objective and
parent-reported cognitive functioning in PBTS and examines how various
factors (medical and socio-demographic) may contribute to cognitive
outcomes. PBTS ( n = 100) were on average 5.77 years old at
diagnosis, 12.36 years from diagnosis, and 47% female. Method.
Participant IQ was measured using the full-scale IQ of the WISC-IV and
WISC-V, and executive function using the BRIEF2 Global Executive
Composite. Examined contributors included: age, sex, tumour location,
time since diagnosis, radiation type, chemotherapy dose (high versus
low), parent’s education level and mother’s partnered status.
Results. Higher IQ was correlated with higher executive function
skills. Differential patterns were observed with socio-demographic
variables influencing working memory, while radiation influenced
processing speed. Higher education level in both mothers and fathers and
maternal partnered status were associated with higher child working
memory. Proton radiation was associated with higher processing speed
scores. However, only time since diagnosis contributed to total IQ and
working memory in multiple linear regression analyses.
Conclusion. The findings shed light on the sparsely examined
domain of the impact of socio-demographic variables on neurocognitive
outcomes in PBTS. Time since diagnosis remains a significant predictor
of cognitive performance, accentuating the need for early identification
and intervention in PBTS.