After tweeting questions about the study to Dr Bergerot, she kindly shared with me the complete article.GYN cancer pts may represent a group at greater risk of #distress Breast and GYN cancers reported different biopsychosocial needs— Cristiane D Bergerot (@crisbergerot) March 6, 2018
Happy that our paper is in the #PsychoOncology current issue https://t.co/mA7m2qXiK9 @BunnymomClark @Matthewloscalz1 @ejphilip & Richard @cityofhope pic.twitter.com/ruy6ITSu0k
Here are some details from the study.
This study was a retrospective quantitative study part of a larger study which took place at City of Hope. It used the City of Hope electronic screening device called You , Your Family and City of Hope are a Team that measures distress.The screening tool involved over 30 core questions and also asked participants their preferred method of assistance/support ( None, Written Info, Talk, Talk + Written Info).
There were 2111 breast cancer patients and 641 gynecologic cancer patients who took part in the study . Most gyn patients were late stage and older (M 57.17 yrs) than the breast cancer patients. There was no significant difference in their body mass.
The study found that gyn cancer patients reported higher problem-related distress compared to breast cancer patients in the following areas:
- walking or climbing stairs
- bowel movement/ constipation
- questions and fear of end of life
- feeling angry and irritable
- needing practical help at home
Gyn cancer patients requested to Talk with a team member about the following issues at a higher level than breast cancer patients:
- understanding treatment options
- solving problems
- fear of medical procedures
Gyn patients also requested Written Information and Talk for at a higher level than breast cancer patients:
- side effects of treatments
- feeling anxious or fearful
The researchers found that having a gyn cancer and being diagnosed at a younger age were significant predictors of total distress.
In conclusion researchers found that gyn cancer patients had higher problem-related distress. They found no significant difference between cervical and ovarian cancers on the sum of biopsychosocial problems, which shows they are both at high risk for distress.
It was also found that gyn cancer patients requested to talk to a member of their team more often than breast cancer patients. The authors stated that preexisting support for breast cancer patients may be the reason for lower requests from breast cancer patients.
While the study hypothesized that gyn cancer patients would represent a high-risk group for high levels of distress they did not expect that gyn cancer patients would required higher levels of assistance. The article stated, "the computerized touch screen system may have facilitated the expression of needs and concerns despite cancer stigma: In research involving sensitive or embarrassing information, electronic questionnaires have been more accepted by patients and more sensi- tive than paper questionnaires." Age , race, education and annual income could also contribute to problem-related distress.
Bergerot CD, Clark KL, Obenchain R, Philip EJ, Loscalzo M. Breast and gynecological cancer patients' risk factors associated with biopsychosocial problem‐related distress. Psycho‐Oncology. 2018;27:1013–1020. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.4607
But this study verifies that we need to understand that the needs of gyn cancer patients may be different and require different support than other women's cancers.
Every Day is a Blessing!