PURPOSE: Few longitudinal studies have investigated psychosocial issues following non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) surgery. The purpose of this study was: 1. Assess hope, blame, and distress in patients with newly diagnosed NSCLC at intervals over two years. 2. Assess how psychosocial issues are influenced by demographic characteristics and how they change over time.
METHODS: Patients who were within eight weeks of surgery were approached for consent. Eighty one patients completed the Herth Hope Index (HHI), Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI), and Self-Blame Questionnaires at Baseline, 2 and 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12, 24 months. Statistics included descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, mixed model ANOVA, independent group and paired t-tests.
RESULTS: Higher HHI scores (more hope) were found to correlate with less anxiety (p=0.03) and somatic symptoms (p=0.006) from baseline, through the first year, and through the second year for depression (p=0.0005) and overall level of distress (p=0.02). Higher HHI scores correlated with less Self-Blame at 6 months (p=0.0006). BSI scores were unrelated to Self-Blame. Age was inversely related to BSI scores (depression, anxiety, overall distress); older patients were less depressed, less anxious, and reported less distress (p<0.05). Smoking was related to Self-Blame (p=.0006). Time since a patient last smoked was inversely related to Self-Blame (p=0.003) and depression (p=0.01). Patients with a higher stage of cancer reported higher depression (p=0.007) and more distress (p<0.05). At six months those without a recurrence experienced reduced anxiety from baseline (p=0.03). Gender and marital status were unrelated to HHI, BSI, or Self-Blame.
CONCLUSION: Younger or higher stage NSCLC patients may experience more depression, anxiety and overall distress. Those with greater or more recent smoking have more self-blame and depression. Patients experiencing anxiety in the early postoperative period can expect anxiety will decrease by six months.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This descriptive study aids in an understanding of psychosocial issues facing patients who have undergone surgery for NSCLC. This information will be helpful in understanding and counseling patients after lung cancer surgery.
DISCLOSURE: Theresa Boley, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information