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Ann Oncol. 2010 Nov;21(11):2262-6. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq215. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

Surveillance CT scans are a source of anxiety and fear of recurrence in long-term lymphoma survivors.

Author information

1
Mayo Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. thompson.carrie@mayo.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We aimed to assess anxiety and the psychological impact of routine surveillance scans in long-term survivors of adult aggressive lymphoma.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

In this cross-sectional observational study of 70 survivors of curable adult aggressive lymphoma, we measured anxiety and the doctor-patient relationship and performed a qualitative interview (n = 30) focused on patient perception of routine follow-up imaging studies.

RESULTS:

Participants were diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma a median of 4.9 years (2.4-38.0 years) before enrollment. Thirty-seven percent of patients were found to meet criteria for clinically significant anxiety, which was not associated with years since diagnosis. In multivariate analysis, history of relapse and a worse doctor-patient relationship were independently associated with higher anxiety levels. Despite representing a largely cured population, in qualitative interviews patients reported fear of recurrence as a major concern and considerable anxiety around the time of a follow-up imaging scan.

CONCLUSIONS:

Routine surveillance scans exacerbate underlying anxiety symptoms and fear of recurrence in survivors of aggressive lymphoma. Strategies to minimize follow-up imaging and to improve doctor-patient communication should be prospectively evaluated to address these clinically significant issues.

PMID:
20423914
PMCID:
PMC2962258
DOI:
10.1093/annonc/mdq215
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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