Expectations for Function and Independence by Childhood Brain Tumors Survivors and Their Mothers


Survivors of childhood brain tumors face many obstacles to living independently as adults. Causes for lack of independence are multifactorial and generally are investigated in terms of physical, cognitive, and psychosocial treatment–related sequelae. Little is known, however, about the role of expectation for survivors’ function. From a mixed–methods study including qualitative interviews and quantitative measures from 40 caregiver–survivor dyads, we compared the data within and across dyads, identifying four distinct narrative profiles: (A) convergent expectations about an optimistic future, (B) convergent expectations about a less optimistic future, (C) non–convergent expectations about a less optimistic future, and (D) non–convergent expectations about an unclear future. Dyads both do well and/or struggle in systematically different manners in each profile. These profiles may inform the design of interventions to be tested in future research and help clinicians to assist families in defining, (re–)negotiating, and reaching their expectations of function and independence.