498PD_PR - Prevalence and types of distress among Adult and Young Adolescent (AYA) newly diagnosed with cancer in Singapore

Date 18 December 2016
Event ESMO Asia 2016 Congress
Session Supportive and palliative care
Topics Cancer in Young Adults
Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer
Presenter Tewodros Eyob Woldehaimanot
Citation Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (suppl_9): ix161-ix162. 10.1093/annonc/mdw596
Authors T.E. Woldehaimanot1, W. Lin Goh2, E. Poon2, G. Fan Kam Tong3, P. Neo Soek Hui4, R. Quek2, M. Farid2, A. Chan1
  • 1Pharmacy, National University of Singapore, 117543 - Singapore/SG
  • 2Dmo, National Cancer Center, 169610 - Singapore/SG
  • 3Psychosocial Oncology, National Cancer Center, 169610 - Singapore/SG
  • 4Palliative Medicine, National Cancer Center, 169610 - Singapore/SG



The Adult and Young Adolescent (AYA) population are at major milestones of their lives with multiple family and societal roles and responsibilities. They are also at the prime of their life and do not expect to be seriously ill. The AYA population newly diagnosed with cancer are thus at high risk of burden from psychosocial impact. This study aims to identify the prevalence and types of psychosocial distress faced by AYA in Singapore at cancer diagnosis.


This is an ongoing study conducted at National Cancer Centre Singapore. AYA newly diagnosed with lymphoma, sarcoma, germ cell or brain tumors were recruited. Patients’ psychosocial distress completed a demographic survey, along with the NCCN Distress Thermometer (DT), a distress screening tool, and the associated problem list, focusing on problems within the practical, family, physical and emotional domains. Patients’ scoring 5 and above on the DT were identified as having clinically relevant distress.


Fifty-six patients were included. The mean (±SD) age was 28.4±6.9, with majority being Chinese (64.9%), received high school and above education (87.2%), and diagnosed with sarcoma (42.6%) and lymphoma (31.1%). Majority (88%) had Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≤1. Clinically significant distress was detected in 37.3%, with the mean (±SD) distress level identified as 3.5±2.7. The top practical, family, physical and emotional problems identified were treatment decisions (47.5%), family health issues (39.0%). sleep (11.0%) and worry (27.0%), respectively.


A significant proportion of AYA cancer patients were identified with various psychosocial needs at diagnosis. Further longitudinal studies are required to understand how such distress impacts quality of life and productivity of AYA population during and after treatment.

Clinical trial indentification

Legal entity responsible for the study

SingHealth IRB




All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.