Post-treatment symptoms predict depression, anxiety in uveal melanoma survivors
In survivors of uveal melanoma, worry about recurrent disease (WREC) and post-treatment symptoms appear to contribute to long-term anxiety and depression, according to a recent study.
The analysis included 261 uveal melanoma survivors, of whom 26.8 percent (n=70) and 10.1 percent (n=26) had anxiety and depression at 6 months, respectively. The corresponding rates of anxiety and depression at 12 months were 25.7 percent (n=67) and 11.5 percent (n=30). At 24 months, the rates were 22.6 percent (n=59) and 11.5 percent (n=30), respectively.
Ocular irritation (odds ratio [OR], 1.23; 95 percent CI, 1.04–1.45; p<0.05), headaches (OR, 1.77.; 1.07–2.95; p<0.05) and functional problems (OR, 1.12; 1,00–1.25; p<0.05) at 6 months, and WREC at 12 months (OR, 1.34; 1.04–1.73; p<0.05) were significant predictors of anxiety development at 24 months.
In comparison, headaches (OR, 2.32; 1.10–4.92; p<0.05) and functional problems (OR, 1.16; 0.91–1.34; p<0.05) at 6 months were significant predictors of depression at 24 months.
The presence of WREC at 12 months mediated the predictive value for anxiety of the symptoms and functional problems at 6 months. No such predictive effects were observed for chromosome 3 status.
“[T]he focus of attention during follow-up should be on preparing patients to better understand and cope with symptoms and functional problems,” said researchers, noting that patients who report concerns about symptoms and functional problems should be monitored for psychological distress.
In addition, informing patients that symptoms do not necessarily lead to future disease may also help avoid psychological problems.