Category Archives: Support Care Cancer

Malnutrition is associated with worse health-related quality of life in children with cancer.






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Malnutrition is associated with worse health-related quality of life in children with cancer.

Support Care Cancer. 2015 Oct;23(10):3043-52

Authors: Brinksma A, Sanderman R, Roodbol PF, Sulkers E, Burgerhof JG, de Bont ES, Tissing WJ

Abstract
PURPOSE: Malnutrition in childhood cancer patients has been associated with lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL). However, this association has never actually been tested. Therefore, we aimed to determine the association between nutritional status and HRQOL in children with cancer.
METHODS: In 104 children, aged 2-18 years and diagnosed with hematological, solid, or brain malignancies, nutritional status and HRQOL were assessed at diagnosis and at 3, 6, and 12 months using the child- and parent-report versions of the PedsQL 4.0 Generic scale and the PedsQL 3.0 Cancer Module. Scores on both scales range from 0 to 100.
RESULTS: Undernourished children (body mass index (BMI) or fat-free mass < -2 standard deviation score (SDS)) reported significantly lower PedsQL scores compared with well-nourished children on the domains physical functioning (-13.3), social functioning (-7.0), cancer summary scale (-5.9), and nausea (-14.7). Overnourished children (BMI or fat mass >2 SDS) reported lower scores on emotional (-8.0) and cognitive functioning (-9.2) and on the cancer summary scale (-6.6), whereas parent-report scores were lower on social functioning (-7.5). Weight loss (>0.5 SDS) was associated with lower scores on physical functioning (-13.9 child-report and -10.7 parent-report), emotional (-7.4) and social functioning (-6.0) (child-report), pain (-11.6), and nausea (-7.8) (parent-report). Parents reported worse social functioning and more pain in children with weight gain (>0.5 SDS) compared with children with stable weight status.
CONCLUSIONS: Undernutrition and weight loss were associated with worse physical and social functioning, whereas overnutrition and weight gain affected the emotional and social domains of HRQL. Interventions that improve nutritional status may contribute to enhanced health outcomes in children with cancer.

PMID: 25752883 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Subtypes of depression in cancer patients: an empirically driven approach.






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Subtypes of depression in cancer patients: an empirically driven approach.

Support Care Cancer. 2015 Sep 5;

Authors: Zhu L, Ranchor AV, van der Lee M, Garssen B, Sanderman R, Schroevers MJ

Abstract
PURPOSE: This study aimed to (1) identify subgroups of cancer patients with distinct subtypes of depression before the start of psychological care, (2) examine whether socio-demographic and medical characteristics distinguished these subtypes, and (3) examine whether people with distinct subtypes reported differential courses of depression during psychological care.
METHOD: This naturalistic, longitudinal study included cancer patients who sought psychological care at specialized psycho-oncology institutions in the Netherlands. Data were collected before psychological care (T1) and three (T2) and nine (T3) months thereafter. Latent class analysis was performed to identify depression subtypes in 243 patients at T1.
RESULTS: Before starting psychological care, three depressive subtypes were identified, differing in severity and type of symptoms. Class 1 (47 %) with mild depression reported mostly concentration and sleep problems and fatigue. Class 2 (41 %), with slightly higher levels of depression, reported similar concentration and sleep problems and fatigue as class 1, and additionally depressed mood. Class 3 (12 %), with severe depression, reported mainly a depressed mood and, to a lesser extent but still elevated, fatigue and concentration problems. None of socio-demographic and medical characteristics significantly distinguished these subtypes. These subtypes significantly predicted the course of depression over time, with class 1 reporting moderate improvements, class 2 large improvements, and class 3 the largest improvements.
CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate the presence of three subtypes of depression in cancer patients before starting psychological care. Our findings suggest that psychological interventions could be tailored to respond to the specific subtype of depression experienced by each individual.

PMID: 26341521 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Fatigue and its associated psychosocial factors in cancer patients on active palliative treatment measured over time.






Fatigue and its associated psychosocial factors in cancer patients on active palliative treatment measured over time.

Support Care Cancer. 2015 Sep 3;

Authors: Peters ME, Goedendorp MM, Verhagen CA, Bleijenberg G, van der Graaf WT

Abstract
PURPOSE: Fatigue is a frequently reported symptom by patients with advanced cancer, but hardly any prospective information is available about fatigue while on treatment in the palliative setting. In a previous cross-sectional study, we found several factors contributing to fatigue in these patients. In this study, we investigated the course of fatigue over time and if psychosocial factors were associated with fatigue over time.
METHODS: Patients on cancer treatment for incurable solid tumors were observed over 6 months. Patients filled in the Checklist Individual Strength monthly to measure the course of fatigue. Baseline questionnaires were used to measure disease acceptance, anxiety, depressive mood, fatigue catastrophizing, sleeping problems, discrepancies in social support, and self-reported physical activity for their relation with fatigue over time.
RESULTS: At baseline 137 patients and after 6 months 89 patients participated. The mean duration of participation was 4.9 months. At most time points, fatigue scores were significantly higher in the group dropouts in comparison with the group participating 6 months (completers). Overall fatigue levels remained stable over time for the majority of participants. In the completers, 42 % never experienced severe fatigue, 29 % persisted being severely fatigued, and others had either an increasing or decreasing level. Of the investigated factors, low reported physical activity and non-acceptance of cancer were associated significantly to fatigue.
CONCLUSION: A substantial number of participants never experienced severe fatigue and fatigue levels remained stable over time. For those who do experience severe fatigue, non-acceptance of having incurable cancer and low self-reported physical activity may be fatigue-perpetuating factors.

PMID: 26335403 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Factors influencing work functioning after cancer diagnosis: a focus group study with cancer survivors and occupational health professionals.






Factors influencing work functioning after cancer diagnosis: a focus group study with cancer survivors and occupational health professionals.

Support Care Cancer. 2015 May 29;

Authors: Dorland HF, Abma FI, Roelen CA, Smink JG, Ranchor AV, Bültmann U

Abstract
PURPOSE: Cancer survivors (CSs) frequently return to work, but little is known about work functioning after return to work (RTW). We aimed to identify barriers and facilitators of work functioning among CSs.
METHODS: Three focus groups were conducted with CSs (n = 6, n = 8 and n = 8) and one focus group with occupational health professionals (n = 7). Concepts were identified by thematic analysis, using the Cancer and Work model as theoretical framework to structure the results.
RESULTS: Long-lasting symptoms (e.g. fatigue), poor adaptation, high work ethics, negative attitude to work, ambiguous communication, lack of support and changes in the work environment were mentioned as barriers of work functioning. In contrast, staying at work during treatment, open dialogue, high social support, appropriate work accommodations and high work autonomy facilitated work functioning.
CONCLUSIONS: Not only cancer-related symptoms affect work functioning of CSs after RTW but also psychosocial and work-related factors. The barriers and facilitators of work functioning should be further investigated in studies with a longitudinal design to examine work functioning over time.

PMID: 26022706 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Participation in questionnaire studies among couples affected by breast cancer.






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Participation in questionnaire studies among couples affected by breast cancer.

Support Care Cancer. 2014 Dec 10;

Authors: Terp H, Rottmann N, Larsen PV, Hagedoorn M, Flyger H, Kroman N, Johansen C, Dalton S, Hansen DG

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Participation bias may be a problem in couple-based psychosocial studies. Therefore, it is important to investigate the characteristics associated with participation. The aim of this study was to analyze whether participation in a longitudinal psychosocial questionnaire study among couples affected by breast cancer was associated with socioeconomic, breast cancer-specific, and other health-related characteristics of the patients and partners.
METHODS: The analyzes are based on 2254 couples who were invited to participate in a nationwide survey on psychosocial adjustment among couples dealing with breast cancer. Participating couples (N = 792) were compared with non-participating couples (N = 1462) with regard to socioeconomic and health-related characteristics obtained from nationwide clinical and administrative registers.
RESULTS: Associations were seen between various socioeconomic variables and couple participation. The patient characteristics older age (OR = 0.15 [95 % CI = 0.07-0.55]), low education (OR = 1.95 [95 % CI = 1.46-2.68]), disability pension (OR = 0.59 [95 % CI = 0.39-0.55]), or non-western ethnicity (OR = 0.36 [95 % CI = 0.15-0.82]) reduced couple participation. The partner characteristics older age (OR = 0.23 [95 % CI = 0.15-0.43]), low education (OR = 1.67 [95 % CI = 1.25-2.22]), receiving disability pension (OR = 0.46 [95 % CI = 0.25-0.82]), non-western ethnicity (OR = 0.17 [95 % CI = 0.06-0.49]), or high morbidity (OR = 0.76 [95 % CI = 0.60-0.96]) also reduced couple participation. Furthermore, couples with low income (OR = 1.49 [95 % CI = 1.16-1.95]) had reduced participation. No associations were found between couple participation and breast cancer-related variables.
CONCLUSIONS: Socioeconomic characteristics of patients and partners, and morbidity of partners may influence participation in couple-based psychosocial breast cancer research. Breast cancer-related characteristics do not seem to influence participation.

PMID: 25487844 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Changes in cancer patients’ personal goals in the first 6 months after diagnosis: the role of illness variables.






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Changes in cancer patients’ personal goals in the first 6 months after diagnosis: the role of illness variables.

Support Care Cancer. 2014 Dec 6;

Authors: Janse M, Ranchor AV, Smink A, Sprangers MA, Fleer J

Abstract
PURPOSE: Setting and pursuing personal goals is a vital aspect of our identity and purpose in life. Cancer can put pressure on these goals and may be a reason for people to adjust them. Therefore, this paper investigates (1) changes in cancer patients’ goals over time and (2) the extent to which illness characteristics relate to goal changes.
METHODS: At both assessment points (1 and 7 months post-diagnosis), colorectal cancer patients (n = 198) were asked to list their current goals and rate them on hindrance of illness, attainability, likelihood of success, temporal range and importance. All goals were coded by two independent raters on content (i.e. physical, psychological, social, achievement and leisure). Patients’ medical data were obtained from the national cancer registry.
RESULTS: Over time, patients reported a decrease in illness-related hindrance, higher attainability and likelihood of success, a decrease in total number of goals, goals with a shorter temporal range, and more physical and fewer social goals. At both assessments, patients with more advanced stages of cancer, rectal cancer, a stoma, and receiving additional chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy reported more illness-related hindrance in goal attainment, but only patients with a stoma additionally reported lower attainability, likelihood of success and more short-term goals.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study support the assumption that cancer patients adjust their goals to changing circumstances and additionally show how patients adjust their goals to their illness. Moreover, we demonstrate that illness variables impact on goal change.

PMID: 25479825 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Marital and sexual satisfaction in testicular cancer survivors and their spouses.






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Marital and sexual satisfaction in testicular cancer survivors and their spouses.
Support Care Cancer. 2005 Jul;13(7):540-8
Authors: Tuinman MA, Fleer J, Sleijfer DT, Hoekstra HJ, Hoekstra-Weebers JE
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Quality of life of testicular cancer survivors and the relationship with sociodemographics, cancer-related variables, and life events.






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Quality of life of testicular cancer survivors and the relationship with sociodemographics, cancer-related variables, and life events.
Support Care Cancer. 2006 Mar;14(3):251-9
Authors: Fleer J, Hoekstra HJ, S… Continue reading

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Testicular cancer: a longitudinal pilot study on stress response symptoms and quality of life in couples before and after chemotherapy.






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Testicular cancer: a longitudinal pilot study on stress response symptoms and quality of life in couples before and after chemotherapy.
Support Care Cancer. 2007 Mar;15(3):279-86
Authors: Tuinman MA, Hoekstra… Continue reading

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Quality of life of survivors of testicular germ cell cancer: a review of the literature.






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Quality of life of survivors of testicular germ cell cancer: a review of the literature.
Support Care Cancer. 2004 Jul;12(7):476-86
Authors: Fleer J, Hoekstra HJ, Sleijfer DT, Hoekstra-Weebers JE
Abstr… Continue reading

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