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| ORIGINAL ARTICLE
|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 88--92
Distress screening using distress thermometer in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy and evaluation of causal factors predicting occurrence of distress
Shirley Lewis1, Naveen Salins2, Amrit Kadam1, Raghavendra Rao3
1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Integrative Oncology, HCG Bangalore Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Bangalore Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Introduction: Distress is commonly seen in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Causal factors of distress are multifactorial; which encompasses physical, psychological, spiritual, and existential factors with complex interrelationship among the factors.
Materials and Methods: Thirty patients undergoing head and neck radiotherapy were included in the study. Patients were screened for pain scores, distress scores, physical and psychological symptoms, and spiritual and emotional distress.
Results: Significant increasing trend seen for pain score, distress score, and total number of symptoms during 2 nd week, 4 th week, and on completion of radiotherapy treatment (all P's < 0.001) compared to pretreatment. Those who had chemotherapy (CT) along with radiation had significantly greater pain score (t = 5.54, P = 0.03) and distress score (t = 3.9, P = 0.05) at 2 weeks into radiotherapy compared to those who did not receive CT. There was significantly higher grade of skin toxicity in those with spiritual distress (Somers' d = 0.36, P = 0.02) and higher grade of mucositis in those with existential distress (d = 0.34, P = 0.02) at 4 weeks into radiotherapy.
Conclusion: Positive correlation between distress score and pain score and occurrence of physical symptoms. Increasing trend seen for pain score, distress score, and total number of symptoms during 2 nd week, 4 th week, and completion of radiotherapy treatment compared to pretreatment. Increase in distress score in those with existential and spiritual distress.
Department of Integrative Oncology, HCG Bangalore Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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