Health behaviors of Chinese childhood cancer survivors: A comparison study with their siblings

Carmen W. H. CHAN, Kai Chow CHOI, Wai Tong CHIEN, Janet W. H. SIT, Rosa Sze Man WONG, Karis K. F. CHENG, Chi Kong LI, Hui Leung YUEN, Chi Keung LI

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Purpose: This study aimed to compare health behaviors between the childhood cancer survivors (CCS) and their sibling controls and to examine the pattern of health behaviors of the Hong Kong Chinese CCS and its associations with their health-related quality of life and psychological distress. Methods: A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted. A total of 614 CCS and 208 sibling controls participated in this study. Patterns of health behaviors including lifestyle behaviors, cancer screening practices, and insurance coverage were compared. Multivariate regression analyses were performed for examining factors associated with health behaviors in CCS. Results: CCS had less alcohol consumption when compared with their sibling controls (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.65, p = 0.035). The sibling controls were more likely to have cancer screening practices (AOR = 0.38, p = 0.005) and health (AOR = 0.27, p < 0.001) and life insurance coverage (AOR = 0.38, p < 0.001). Among the CCS, those who were male, having a job or higher education, shorter time since diagnosis, and type of cancer suffered were significantly associated with alcohol consumption. Those CCS who were drinkers indicated poorer mental health (p = 0.004) and more psychological distress. Female CCS undertaking cancer screening were more likely to be employed, married/cohabiting, and have received intensive cancer treatment. Conclusion: This study reveals that Chinese childhood cancer survivors are less likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, insurance coverage and cancer screening, when compared with their siblings. Implications for Cancer Survivors: It is crucial for healthcare professionals to identify strategies or target interventions for raising CCS’s awareness of their cancer risks and healthy lifestyle throughout their life. Copyright © 2020 by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6136
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


Chan, C. W. H., Choi, K. C., Chien, W. T., Sit, J. W. H., Wong, R., Cheng, K. K. F., Li, C. K., Yuen, H. L., & Li, C. K. (2020). Health behaviors of Chinese childhood cancer survivors: A comparison study with their siblings. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(17), Article 6136.


  • Childhood cancer survivor
  • Health behavior
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Psychological distress
  • Health-related quality of life


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