Screening for psychological distress is one of the most important steps in Psycho-Oncology research and clinical assistance. In our Institution, before the present study, four studies have been carried out in this area from 2013 to 2016: 441 people were screened and 881 questionnaires were administered.
The study has been carried out using the following tools: Needs Evaluation Questionnaire (investigates five areas: informative needs, needs related to assistance and care, relational needs, needs for psycho-emotional support, material needs); Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI II), both for caregivers and for patients; Mini Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MiniMac, for the copying style); State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory–2 (for the expression of anger).
From February to April 2017, 78 people have been screened (44 patients and 34 caregivers; Male/female ratio was 29/49; median age was 54 years (range 21-84); 32% of patients showed informative needs, 48% indicated a psychological need, 18% assistance needs. Depression was more present in patients (30%) than in the caregivers (22%) and problems concerning sleep (65%) and fatigue (60%) were more common; only 61% of patients had a fighting spirit while 24% of caregivers showed a high expression of anger. Fischer test showed a correlation between anxious preoccupation (MiniMac) and symptomatic depression (P = 0,000432860); moreover, Helpless-Hopeless copying style was also related (P = 0,005396636) to depression; caregiver’s expression of aggressiveness (P = 0,114394682) to patients’ anxious preoccupation. The relationship between patients’ depression to caregivers’ aggressiveness requires further investigation (P = 0,247399740).
Psychological screening can fulfill the following aims: discover expressed needs, coping styles, depression, familiar distress, burden. The results and the correlations underline the importance of managing the patients’ anxiety and the expression of the caregivers’ aggressiveness and the relationship of such issues with depression. Moreover, informative needs are associated to the most diffused psychological needs.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Clinica Oncologica Ancona
Fondazione Rossetti-Fedecostante Ancona
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.