Psychological distress and its correlates in ovarian cancer: A systematic review

School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, UK.
Psycho-Oncology (Impact Factor: 2.44). 11/2008; 17(11):1061-72. DOI: 10.1002/pon.1363
Source: PubMed


Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, and consequently high levels of distress are often experienced. It is necessary to understand the factors associated with psychological distress in order to guide interventions to target those factors. The purpose of this systematic review was therefore to identify correlates of psychological distress in ovarian cancer.
Included studies had to be quantitative and empirical, with standardized measures of psychological distress (anxiety or depression), and to present results for ovarian cancer patients specifically. Standard systematic search methods were used. Information about design, ovarian cancer sample size, disease stage, time since diagnosis, measures of distress used and findings was extracted from each study. The studies were quality assessed using experimenter-defined criteria as good, average and poor quality. Strength of the evidence (strong, some, inconclusive) was based on the quality and consistency of findings.
Eighteen studies meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. There was strong evidence for a relationship between younger age, being diagnosed with more advanced disease, more physical symptoms and shorter time since diagnosis with increased levels of anxiety and/or depression. Additional factors (e.g. immune) tested in a few studies also emerged as correlates of distress.
Demographic, disease and quality of life factors correlated with distress. However, too few studies assessed possible psychological and immunological correlates, which could be potentially modified and should be assessed in future studies.

1 Follower
13 Reads
  • Source
    • "Distress is associated with poorer quality of life and lower socio-economic status. Head and neck cancer survivors may be more likely to suffer to distress than other cancers or the general population (Arden-Close et al., 2008; Foster et al., 2009; Park and Gaffey, 2007). Finally, there is a good amount of evidence that fear of recurrence is an important and common concern for cancer survivors and their families (Bloom et al., 2007; Foster et al., 2009; Lockwood-Rayermann, 2006; Vivar et al., 2009), although the research varies in its quality. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To establish what is known regarding the psychological and social problems faced by adult cancer survivors (people who are living with and beyond a diagnosis of cancer) and identify areas future research should address. Method: A rapid search of published literature reviews held in electronic data bases was under taken. Inclusion and exclusion criteria, and removal of duplicated papers, reduced the initial number of papers from 4051 to 38. Twenty-two review papers were excluded on grounds of quality and 16 review papers were selected for appraisal. Results: The psychological and social problems for cancer survivors are identified as depression, anxiety, distress, fear of recurrence, social support/function, relationships and impact on family, and quality of life. A substantial minority of people surviving cancer experience depression, anxiety, and distress or fear associated with recurrence or follow up. There is some indication that social support is positively associated with better outcomes. Quality of life for survivors of cancer appears generally good for most people, but an important minority experience a reduction in quality of life, especially those with more advanced disease and reduced social and economic resources. The majority of research knowledge is based on women with breast cancer. The longer term implications of cancer survival have not been adequately explored. Conclusions: Focussing well designed research in the identified areas where less is already known about the psychological and social impact of cancer survival is likely to have the greatest impact on the wellbeing of people surviving cancer.
    European journal of oncology nursing: the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society 04/2013; 17(5). DOI:10.1016/j.ejon.2013.03.003 · 1.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • ". 2. Interdisciplinary guideline of the German Cancer society and the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics on diagnosis and therapy of cervical cancer. In German, 2008. 3. Interdisciplinary guideline of the German Osteoporosis Society on prophylaxis, diagnosis and therapy of osteoporosis. "

    Ovarian Cancer - Clinical and Therapeutic Perspectives, 02/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-307-810-6
  • Source
    • "These data may represent elements of resilience and active coping, such as positive reappraisal [14], which are adaptive in dealing with a stressful life event such as cancer [15] [16]. A recent review of correlates of psychological distress among ovarian cancer patients revealed strong evidence for a relationship between younger age, being diagnosed with more advanced disease, more physical impairment , and shorter time since diagnosis, with increased levels of anxiety and/or depression [10]. Hence, individual vulnerabilities such as younger age, as well as protective variables such as resilience, are important factors that need to be considered in offering TFGT to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer especially since younger age is more likely to be associated with the presence of a mutation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that the BRCA mutation status of women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer may be used to make treatment recommendations in the future. This qualitative study aimed to assess women's attitudes and experiences toward treatment-focused genetic testing (TFGT). Women (N=22) with ovarian cancer who had either (i) advanced disease and had previously had TFGT (n=12) or (ii) had a recent ovarian cancer diagnosis and were asked about their hypothetical views of TFGT (n=10), were interviewed in-depth. This study demonstrates that patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer found the concept of TFGT acceptable with the primary motivation for genetic testing being to increase their treatment options. Women reported that there was no decision to make about TFGT, and the advantages of TFGT were perceived to outweigh the disadvantages. Many women described elements of resilience and active coping, in the context of hypothetical and actual TFGT. Resilience and active coping strategies are important factors that warrant investigation as potential moderators of psychological distress in future prospective studies exploring the optimal way of offering BRCA genetic testing to women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and to assess the impact of TFGT upon patients' survival, psychological distress, and quality of life.
    Gynecologic Oncology 01/2012; 124(1):153-7. DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.09.040 · 3.77 Impact Factor
Show more


13 Reads