P-151 - Understanding distress in gastrointestinal cancer patients to improve a multidisciplinary approach.

Date 04 July 2015
Event WorldGI 2015
Session Posters
Topics Supportive Measures
Gastrointestinal Cancers
Presenter A. Milani
Citation Annals of Oncology (2015) 26 (suppl_4): 1-100. 10.1093/annonc/mdv233
Authors A. Milani, K. Mazzocco, N. Tasca, G. Magon, C. McDonnell, E. Bocchiola, I. Perschechera, G. Pravettoni
  • European Institute of Oncology, Milan/IT



Stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer, with 952,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012, while colorectal cancer is the third ones, with 1.4 million new cases diagnosed in 2012. Psychological distress is one of the most important consequences, among disabilities linked to cancer. As defined by National Comprehensive Cancer Network, it is a multifactorial unpleasant emotional experience that can impact on patients, compromising their ability to cope with cancer up to problems such as depression, anxiety, and panic. The present study investigates the incidence of psychological distress and its prevalent features in gastrointestinal cancer outpatients receiving active treatments.


During the admission in hospital, all patients receive a nursing assessment based on the Oncology Nursing Minimum Data Set, which also considered a distress evaluation by means of the Distress Thermometer. Clinical and socio-demographic features were analysed for 53 outpatients who started a new active treatment in an oncology outpatient setting from January to September 2014.


Data analysis is ongoing. Preliminary data show that more than half (51%) of patients presented a high level of distress (≥ 5), with women more likely to present high levels of distress than men. Prevalent feature of distress appears to be concern (85,1%) followed by nervousness and fear (66,6% and 63% respectively). Only 17% of patients with any level of distress required psychological support.


Distress significantly affects cancer outpatients. Understanding the features of this specific patients' condition can help health care professionals identify areas of intervention tailored around the patients' values and needs by means of a multidisciplinary approach.