Psychological distress during treatment and anxiety over possible recurrence in cancer patients
In the online version of the journal Urologic Oncology, findings from a longitudinal study focusing on depression and anxiety in patients with cancer were reported late this June. The study measured psychological distress during treatment and anxiety over possible recurrence in cancer patients. The study collected data on individuals treated at a University Hospital in Germany from 2002 to 2004, which were treated for prostate and other urogenital cancers. Findings revealed that patient anxiety was highest in all patients during the beginning of the patient’s stay in the hospital; however, results measured six months and one year after the stay revealed no significant anxiety related to possible recurrence. Patient anxiety was the highest in cancer patients who received chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Additionally, patient anxiety was comparatively high among young patients. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medical News Today that discusses the particulars of the study:
Sample size was not large enough for separate analyses for each cancer diagnosis. Values were highest at T1, with only minor changes between T2 and T4. Two significant results were identified; depression at T3 and depression at T4 with lower scores for prostate cancer patients. Anxiety at T1 was significantly higher than the mean value of the general population. Compared with cardiac patients, there were significantly higher values for cardiac patients at T2 to T4. Prostate cancer patients had significantly lower depression scores than the control groups for T2-T4. HADS scores >15 occurred in 28% of prostate cancer patients, 39% of other urogenital cancer patients, 24% of the general public and 35% of cardiac patients. Anxiety was more pronounced among young patients, and patients treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy suffered from higher levels of depression at T1 compared to surgical patients.