The emotional impact of surveillance programs for pancreatic cancer on high‐risk individuals: A prospective analysis

Published on Feb 27, 2020in Psycho-oncology3.006
· DOI :10.1002/PON.5370
Salvatore Paiella23
Estimated H-index: 23
(University of Verona),
Veronica Marinelli9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Verona)
+ 5 AuthorsRoberto Salvia52
Estimated H-index: 52
(University of Verona)
OBJECTIVE: Literature shows that emotional status can influence participation in screening/surveillance programs, and that screening/surveillance programs may alter the psychological well-being of subjects examined. This study aims to assess if participating in a surveillance program for pancreatic cancer early detection is associated with abnormal levels of psychological distress in high-risk individuals (HRIs), compared to the general population. METHODS: Fifty-four HRIs participating in a magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)-based surveillance program completed several psychological assessment questionnaires, investigating global functioning, self-efficacy, perceived stress, coping abilities, and social support. The questionnaires were administered by a clinical psychologist after the MRCP but before the subjects were informed about the results of the scans. The HRIs were subjects with strong familiarity of pancreatic cancer and/or carriers of known genetic mutations related to cancer susceptibility. The psychological assessment was made at the time of the first examination. RESULTS: The population was characterized by an overall good psychological status. Scoring of our sample was comparable to the general population norms. The HRIs showed decent global functioning, high self-efficacy levels, low perceived stress in the last month prior to examination, efficient emotion-focused coping strategies, and an adequate social support system. The younger subjects' subpopulation only revealed higher levels of stress. CONCLUSIONS: From a psychological point of view, an MRCP-based pancreatic cancer annual surveillance seemed not to influence the HRIs' psychological well-being, unless in young people. Further studies are needed to better establish if there are any changes in distress levels over time and how emotional status influences participation in surveillance programs.
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