Mood, physical function tied to HRQoL in patients with brain metastases
Mood, physical function, learning, and memory are important correlates of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with metastatic brain cancer, a new study has found.
The study included 93 patients (mean age, 58 years; 53 percent female) with newly diagnosed brain metastases who were asked to accomplish various cognitive batteries. Variables were collected from various domains, including cognitive, demographic, mood, treatment, and functioning. HRQoL was measured using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Treatment (FACT) scale.
Lung cancer was the most common primary malignancy, followed by breast cancer and melanoma. Most of the metastatic brain tumours were located in the frontal lobe.
Of all the domains of cognition, impairment was most common in verbal learning, memory, and phonemic verbal fluency. Researchers found that all aspects of HRQoL, except for emotional wellbeing, were significantly affected by at least one measure of memory and learning. Moreover, social wellbeing was also correlated with auditory attention and semantic fluency.
Mood factors, such as anxiety, depression, and overall mental health, were also significantly associated with HRQoL.
Regression analysis revealed that mood variables made up majority of the model for the prediction of the general FACT scores. They were accompanied by two nonmood variables: physical health and social support. Clinical and cognitive variables were precluded from the final model, although verbal memory emerged as an important predictor of cognitive wellbeing.
“Our findings suggest that clinicians must broaden conceptualizations of physical HRQoL to also include components of mood and mood-related assessments,” the researchers said. “Results of these assessments can then be used to tailor recommendations and referrals to help mitigate the impact that brain metastasis has on HRQOL.”