Desmoid tumour patients suffer from high emotional distress
The burden of emotional distress is high among adults with desmoid tumours (DT), particularly in women and in patients with a history of mood problems, a new study reports.
Researchers enrolled 94 DT patients (mean age, 40 years; 78 percent female) who completed the Distress Assessment and Response Tool (DART) at four distinct time points: at diagnosis (T1), during treatment (T2) and at <6 (T3) and ≥6 (T4) months after treatment. DART scores also reported physical symptoms, depression, anxiety and social difficulties.
A total of 152 DART screens were included in the analysis. Almost half of the DT cases were located in the abdominal wall (48 percent); the extremities (30 percent) and mesentery (22 percent) were also common sites.
Significant longitudinal changes were reported for the patient symptoms of appetite (p=0.02), drowsiness (p=0.04) and tiredness (p=0.01), which peaked during treatment and decreased thereafter. The proportion of patients who were of poor wellbeing was consistently high across all time points (T1: 36 percent; T2: 45 percent; T3: 50 percent; T4: 31 percent; p=0.47).
The prevalence of moderate-to-severe levels of emotional distress likewise remained relatively stable at all time points, such that rates of anxiety ranged from 34 percent at T1 to 20 percent at T4 (p=0.44). The same was true for depression (T1: 25 percent; T2: 29 percent; T3: 27 percent; T4: 13 percent; p=0.63).
Multivariable regression analysis found that DT located at the abdominal wall was a significant predictor of distress, as were being a woman, having a personal history of mood problems, having difficulty with treatment decisions and problems with information about available resources.