Educational Attainment and Special Education Use Among Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer: Planning of a Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Project




Bashore, Lisa
Merchant, Zahra
Bowman, W. Paul
Hamby, Tyler
Shah, Deep
Basha, Riyaz
Robison, Leslie
Armstrong, Greg
Krull, Kevin


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Purpose: Childhood cancer survival rates have increased dramatically in recent years. Because of this, long-term complications are becoming more apparent. Survivors have previously been shown to have lower educational attainment and more special education use than their siblings. The proposed study will expand upon the extant literature by examining specific predictors of special education usage and educational attainment in cancer survivors. In particular, we will address the following aims: 1) Describe the usage of special education and educational attainment in a large cohort of survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed between 1970-1999, 2) Compare patterns of special education services and educational attainment by decade of diagnosis, 3) Determine predictors of use of special education and educational attainment, 4) Examine associations between use of special education services and educational attainment with chronic health conditions. Methods: This is the first Cook Children’s initiated project to utilize the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), a retrospective longitudinal cohort funded by the National Cancer Institute (CA55727). Proposing and performing studies within the CCSS is a multi-step process. First, potential topics are discussed with a Working Group Chair who oversees the specific content. Second, an application of intent must be written with an identified CCSS mentor. Then, an initial analysis concept proposal must be written and approved by the Chair. Once approved, a full analysis concept proposal must be written and approved by a multidisciplinary publication committee. This proposal identifies the specific variables required to attain the outcomes of interest and maps out the analyses and tables to be used in the manuscript. Statisticians within the CCSS analyze the data and provide populated tables to the authors to interpret and write up the results and discussion. Results/Conclusions: Because of the length of this process and CCSS’s policy of using their own statisticians, we do not yet have the results of our study. We have submitted a protocol to the CCSS and have worked with our mentor there. As we approach a final draft, our protocol will be reviewed by a larger publication committee. Then it will be sent to the statisticians for analysis. The proposed poster presentation will describe the CCSS population and study methods designed to capture meaningful data on survivors’ educational attainment and special education use.