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Med Care. 1993 May;31(5):419-31.

Predicting psychosocial risk in patients with breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine.


Breast cancer is the most common neoplasm in North American women. The psychosocial impact of breast cancer has been extensively studied, and a number of investigators have attempted to characterize women who are at high risk for increased psychosocial morbidity. Although a detailed interview performed by a professional is the clinical standard for psychosocial assessment, such interviews are usually time-consuming and expensive, and thus are rarely performed. This study was designed to develop a strategy for the rapid identification of newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients at risk for psychosocial morbidity. A sample of 227 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients were interviewed systematically by a clinical social worker and were subsequently classified for risk of psychosocial distress in the year after diagnosis. In addition, these women completed a battery of standardized instruments designed to assess quality of life, rehabilitation needs and psychological distress. A logistic regression procedure was used to examine a wide range of variables for their ability to correctly classify the risk of psychosocial distress in this sample. The final model included the Cancer Rehabilitation Evaluation System (CARES) Psychosocial Summary Scale, the Karnofsky Performance Status score and age as the best predictors of psychosocial risk. Subsequently these three variables were used to construct a clinically usable risk prediction model. Additional research should be performed to validate this predictive model.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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