Quality of life in patients with malignant choroidal melanoma after radiotherapy.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2003 May ;241(5):371-7. Epub 2003 Apr 23. PMID: 12712357
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
BACKGROUND: Patient-orientated endpoints have attracted little attention in patients with malignant choroidal melanoma. This study was conducted to explore the long-term effects of malignant choroidal melanoma and radiotherapy on QOL by means of a differentiated and modular QOL approach, including global QOL, social support, and mental health, in comparison with sociodemographically matched healthy controls.
METHODS: A random sample of 100 outpatients treated by radiotherapy were asked by mail to take part in a psychodiagnostic study [instruments: Short-Form 36 Health-Survey (SF-36), Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, German Social Support Questionnaire]. The same instruments were applied to a healthy control group, which was matched to patients with regard to age, gender, and vocational situation.
RESULTS: 93 patients (average age 61.2 years) responded at an average of 5.5 years (+/-3.7) after diagnosis. Visual acuity in the affected eye decreased considerably from diagnosis (0.49+/-0.30) to participation in the study (0.09+/-0.21). Compared with healthy controls, patients reported on average statistically significantly lower global QOL (SF-36), whereas social support and mental distress did not differ. Frequencies of clinically relevant mental distress were significantly higher in patients than in controls (35.5% vs. 16.1%). Mental distress was associated with poorer visual acuity, but not with the extent of loss of visual acuity or number of follow-up treatments.
CONCLUSION: Patients with choroidal melanoma suffer from low long-term global QOL, and every third patient suffers from relevant mental distress. Regular screening for mental distress should be implemented along with psychological counseling. Additional follow-up treatment does not seem to induce mental distress.