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Onkologie. 2013;36(10):540-4. doi: 10.1159/000355137. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and fear of cancer progression in patients with melanoma in cancer aftercare.

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1
Klinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Germany.

Abstract

Several studies have described mental distress and anxiety in patients with melanoma. The findings of these studies varied from patients with a quality of life similar to the general population and those with increased mental distress. In the present study, we investigated anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and fear of cancer progression to gain a detailed picture of the burdens of these patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

70 patients with malignant melanoma who attended cancer aftercare were surveyed using the psychometric instruments Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Posttraumatic Symptom Scale (PTSS-10), and Fear of Progression Questionnaire (FoP-Q). The questionnaires were evaluated and an analysis of the single items carried out.

RESULTS:

The scores for the three anxiety parameters were low, but 7% of the patients presented an increased HADS score, and 17% an increased PTSS-10 value. An analysis of the items showed that patients feared physical disabilities more than mental distress or lack of social support.

CONCLUSION:

Most of the patients perceived themselves as stable, and relied on the assistance of their families. However, a small group of patients suffered from clinically relevant anxiety; these patients should be given the support indicated for their specific distress.

PMID:
24107906
DOI:
10.1159/000355137
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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