The aim of this study was to examine the possibility of predicting anxiety and depression 6 months after a cancer diagnosis on the basis of measures of anxiety, depression, coping and subjective distress associated with the diagnosis and to explore the possibility of identifying individual patients with high levels of delayed anxiety and depression associated with the diagnosis. A consecutive series of 159 patients with gastrointestinal cancer were interviewed in connection with the diagnosis, 3 months (non-cured patients only) and 6 months later. The interviews utilized structured questionnaires assessing anxiety and depression [Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale], coping [Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC) scale] and subjective distress [Impact of Event (IES) scale]. Patient anxiety and depression close to the diagnosis were found to explain approximately 35% of the variance in anxiety and depression that was found 6 months later. The addition of coping and subjective distress measures did little to improve that prediction. A model using (standardized) cut-off scores of moderate to high anxiety, depression (HAD) and intrusive thoughts (IES subscale) close to the diagnosis to identify patients at risk for delayed anxiety and depression achieved a sensitivity of 75% and a specificity of 98%. Levels of anxiety and depression at diagnosis predicted a similar status 6 months later. The results also indicated that the HAD scale in combination with the IES intrusion subscale may be used as a tool for detecting patients at risk of delayed anxiety and depression. (+info)
(2/5466) Misunderstanding in cancer patients: why shoot the messenger?
AIM: We aimed to document the prevalence of misunderstanding in cancer patients and investigate whether patient denial is related to misunderstanding. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred forty-four adult cancer outpatients receiving treatment completed a survey assessing levels of understanding and denial. Doctors provided the facts against which patient responses were compared. Multiple logistic regression analyses determined the predictors of misunderstanding. RESULTS: Most patients understood the extent of their disease (71%, 95% CI: 65%-77%) and goal of treatment (60%, 95% CI: 54%-67%). Few correctly estimated the likelihood of treatment achieving cure (18%, 95% CI: 13%-23%), prolongation of life (13%, 95% CI: 8%-17%) and palliation (18%, 95% CI: 10%-27%). Patient denial predicted misunderstanding of the probability that treatment would cure disease when controlling for other patient and disease variables (OR = 2.20, 95% CI: 0.99-4.88, P = 0.05). Patient ratings of the clarity of information received were also predictive of patient understanding. CONCLUSIONS: Patient denial appears to produce misunderstanding, however, doctors' ability to communicate effectively is also implicated. The challenge that oncologists face is how to communicate information in a manner which is both responsive to patients' emotional status and sufficiently informative to allow informed decision-making to take place. (+info)
(3/5466) Methods used to study household coping strategies in rural South West Uganda.
This paper describes the data collection methods used in a longitudinal study of the coping strategies of 27 households in three villages in the study area of the MRC/ODA Research Programme on AIDS in Uganda. After pre-testing and piloting, 9 local interviewers made regular visits to the 27 study households over a period of just over one year. The households were purposively selected to represent different household types and socioeconomic status categories. Data were obtained through participant observation using a checklist to ensure systematic collection of data on household activities. Debriefing sessions with the interviewers after the visits provided opportunities for the discussion of the findings and exploration of themes for further study. On the basis of the study findings, and data from the Programme's general study population survey rounds, broad indicators of household 'vulnerability' were identified. A participatory appraisal technique, 'well-being ranking', was used at the end of the study in order to test the viability of the chosen indicators. It is proposed that the example of the research method, which relied on local people not only as interviewers but also as co-investigators in the research, be used to guide future research approaches. The participation of the study community at every stage of research and design, as well as monitoring and evaluation of supportive interventions, is strongly encouraged. (+info)
(4/5466) Perceived stress factors and coping mechanisms among mothers of children with sickle cell disease in western Nigeria.
While many studies have looked at the stressful effects of chronic illness of those who suffer such conditions, less is known about the effects on caregivers, especially in developing countries. Mothers in particular must bear the brunt of care and stress for children who have sickle cell disease (SCD). A sample of 200 mothers attending six SCD clinics in both public and private hospitals in the Ibadan-Ibarapa Health Zone of Oyo State, Nigeria, were interviewed. Stress levels were measured using an instrument comprised of stressors listed by mothers themselves in focus group discussions that preceded the survey. Higher levels of stress were associated with less educated and older women, as well as non-married women and those in polygamous households. Stress levels were also greater when there was more than one child with SCD in the family and when the index child was of school age. Coping mechanisms varied according to the category of stressor. Financial stress and disease factors were met with confrontation while family sources of stress were either complained about, accepted or avoided. Knowledge of the different types of mothers who experience more stress and of their preferred coping mechanisms can be useful in designing clinic-based counseling. (+info)
(5/5466) Eastward long distance flights, sleep and wake patterns in air crews in connection with a two-day layover.
The present study describes the spontaneous sleep/wake pattern in connection with an eastward (Stockholm to Tokyo, +8 h) transmeridian flight and short (51 h) layovers. To describe all sleep episodes and the recovery process across 4 days, and to relate adjustment to individual differences, 49 Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) air crew were monitored for 9 days with activity monitors and sleep/wake diary before-during-after flight. The outbound flight involved a period of wakefulness extended to 21 h, frequently (87% of air crew) terminated by a long nap in Tokyo which was calm but difficult to wake up from. Then followed two night oriented sleep periods of normal length but of reduced efficiency, containing many and long awakenings. Napping was common during the extended periods of wakefulness, particularly during flights. During the recovery days, ease of rising from sleep in the mornings was difficult throughout, and feelings of not being refreshed returned to baseline levels on the third recovery sleep. Elevated daytime sleepiness (24% of the day) was observed on the first recovery day. No individual differences related to gender, age or position (cabin/pilot) was found in sleep strategy. Poor adjusters, subjects with a perceived lowered capacity on recovery days, showed more premature awakenings abroad and less refreshing sleep during the last 12 months, suggesting a decreased ability to cope with air crew scheduling. Comparisons with a westbound flight showed the eastbound flight layover sleep to be more problematic and containing more napping. (+info)
(6/5466) Quality of life associated with varying degrees of chronic lower limb ischaemia: comparison with a healthy sample.
OBJECTIVES: To assess quality of life in patients with varying degrees of ischaemia in comparison with controls, and to determine whether the degree of lower limb ischaemia and sense of coherence were associated with quality of life. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 168 patients, including 93 claudicants and 75 patients with critical ischaemia and 102 controls were studied. Quality of life was assessed using the Nottingham Health Profile in addition to the Sense of Coherence scale. MAIN RESULTS: Patients with lower limb ischaemia scored significantly reduced quality of life in all aspects compared to controls. Pain, physical mobility and emotional reactions were the significant independent factors when using logistic regression analysis. The grade of disease and low sense of coherence were significantly associated with low quality of life. Increasing lower limb ischaemia significantly conferred worse pain, sleeping disturbances and immobility. CONCLUSION: This study showed that the quality of life was impaired among patients with lower limb ischaemia, in all investigated respects. The degree to which quality of life was affected seems to represent an interplay between the grade of ischaemia and the patient's sense of coherence. This suggests the need for a multidimensional assessment prior to intervention. (+info)
(7/5466) Attitudes toward colon cancer gene testing: factors predicting test uptake.
OBJECTIVES: Genetic discoveries in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) have made possible genetic testing to determine susceptibility to this form of colorectal cancer (CRC). This study measured the uptake of genetic testing for HNPCC among first-degree relatives of CRC patients and conducted a preliminary analysis of the predictors of test uptake. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We compared 77 test acceptors and 181 decliners on demographic, medical history, and psychological characteristics, controlling for distance from the testing center. The psychological factors studied were risk perception for CRC, frequency of cancer thoughts, and perceived ability to cope with unfavorable genetic information. RESULTS: In the final regression model, after accounting for all variables, the significant predictors of test uptake were increased risk perception, greater perceived confidence in ability to cope with unfavorable genetic information, more frequent cancer thoughts, and having had at least one colonoscopy. The association between risk perception and uptake was dependent on frequency of cancer thoughts. Among those who thought about getting CRC more often, the probability of testing increased as perceived risk increased to approximately 50% likelihood of getting CRC and then leveled off. In contrast, among those who never or rarely thought about getting CRC, risk perception was unrelated to testing decision. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings are consistent with the associations reported between psychological factors and other cancer screening behaviors. (+info)
(8/5466) Intention to learn results of genetic testing for hereditary colon cancer.
INTRODUCTION: This report investigates the correlates of intention to find out genetic test results in colorectal cancer patients undergoing genetic counseling and testing for hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer. Specifically, we investigated whether intention to learn genetic test results was associated with sociodemographic factors, medical history, psychosocial factors, attitudes, beliefs, and decisional considerations related to genetic testing. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Among 342 colorectal cancer patients who went through an informed consent process and gave blood for genetic testing and who were eligible for a psychosocial questionnaire study, 269 cases completed a baseline interview. Patients were contacted in person during a routine clinic visit or by letter and follow-up telephone call and were interviewed either in person or by telephone. RESULTS: In univariate analysis, intention to learn test results was positively associated with income, quality of life, a belief that being tested will help family members prevent cancer, being worried about carrying an altered gene, and a belief that one has the ability to cope with test results. It was negatively associated with a belief that genetic counseling is too much trouble relative to the benefits. Intention also was positively associated with scales measuring the pros of learning test results and the pros of informing relatives about test results; it was negatively associated with the cons of learning test results. In multivariable analysis, the belief that testing would help family members prevent cancer, being worried about carrying an altered gene, and the pros of learning test results remained statistically associated with intention when other variables were included in the model. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed that the positive aspects of genetic testing were more strongly associated with intention than were the negative aspects. They also showed that persons who stated an intention to learn their genetic test results were more likely than persons who did not to affirm both the benefits and the importance of such testing. These results are consistent with the literature on psychosocial aspects of genetic testing for breast cancer. (+info)