Psychological distress reported for indolent non-Hodgkin lymphomas
Patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphomas (iNHL) report considerable psychological distress, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in The Oncologist.
Richard A. Newcomb, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of adults newly diagnosed with iNHL in the past three months and assessed the quality of life, psychological symptoms, coping, and perception of prognosis.
Overall, 70.6 percent of 68 eligible patients were enrolled. The researchers found that the most common diagnoses were chronic lymphocytic leukemia and follicular lymphoma (39.6 and 33.3 percent, respectively). Of the patients, 27.1 and 14.6 percent reported clinically significant anxiety and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), respectively. Coping strategies at diagnosis included acceptance, seeking emotional support, and denial (56.2, 47.9, and 47.9 percent, respectively).
Two-thirds of the patients recalled their oncologist assessment of illness as incurable, but only 35.4 percent reported that the illness was unlikely to be cured. Overall, 45.8 and 31.2 percent indicated being worried about their prognosis and reported perseverating on their prognosis, respectively. Fewer anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms and better quality of life were seen in association with higher emotional coping with prognosis.
“Interventions to address prognostic uncertainty and to promote positive emotional coping with prognosis in patients with iNHL are an unmet need and have the potential to ameliorate psychological distress and improve quality of life in this patient population,” the authors write.
Two authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.
Richard A Newcomb et al, Coping and Perception of Prognosis in Patients With Indolent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, The Oncologist (2023). DOI: 10.1093/oncolo/oyad295
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