Auditory attention late effects in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Alice Ann Holland, Matthew A. Clem, Erin Lampson, Peter L. Stavinoha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study sought to characterize auditory attention functioning among pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) survivors treated on a chemotherapy-only protocol, given previous literature suggesting late impact on sustained visual attention. We hypothesized similar deficits would be observed in auditory attention relative to previous literature indicating weakness with aspect of visual attention in this population. Survivors (n = 107, 53 females, M = 12.80 years) completed the Conners Continuous Auditory Test of Attention (CATA). Parents completed the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition and reported educational performance and services via structured questionnaire. Results indicated several CATA indices associated with sustained auditory attention were significantly worse than normative data, though group means were average. Reflecting individual variability in performance, 50% of the sample performed worse than one standard deviation from the mean on at least one CATA variable. Parent report of attention did not differ from normative means for the sample. Parent-report data indicated that 60% of the sample utilized academic support services, with a large proportion of survivors having utilized special education services. Poorer performance with sustained auditory attention was associated with poor academic outcomes. Greater methotrexate exposure and younger age at diagnosis were risk factors for inattentiveness. No gender differences were identified on direct assessment of auditory attention or parent report of attention, though male gender was associated with poorer educational performance. Findings suggest that auditory attention is an at-risk cognitive domain following treatment for pediatric ALL, and that an association exists between auditory attention and school performance in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-880
Number of pages16
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatric
  • attention
  • late effects
  • leukemia
  • neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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