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T. Beran, T. A. Young, A. L. Stanton; The Relationship Between Time Since Treatment, Visual Functioning, Cancer-Related Needs, Quality of Life, and Depression in a Sample of Choroidal Melanoma Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):31.
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Choroidal melanoma is the most common intraocular cancer in adults and can affect both physical and psychological domains. This cancer is rare and its relationship to quality of life is understudied. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between time since treatment, visual functioning, cancer-related needs, quality of life, and depressive symptoms in a sample of choroidal melanoma patients treated from 1 month to 5 years ago.
All English-speaking patients diagnosed at the Ophthalmic Oncology Center at the Jules Stein Eye Institute between January 2002 and December 2006 were recruited for participation. Participants completed a questionnaire packet which assessed visual functioning (MOOD), quality of life (MOS-SF-36), cancer-related needs (short-form CNQ), and depressive symptoms (CES-D).
79 patients completed the assessment. Of five domains of cancer-related needs, health information was endorsed significantly more frequently than other domains. Need for health information was not associated with depressive symptoms or quality of life; however, the endorsement of physical and psychological cancer-related needs was associated with poorer quality of life and more depressive symptoms. Patients reporting more visual impairment also reported more depressive symptoms, poorer quality of life, and more physical needs. Time since treatment was significantly correlated with visual impairment such that patients treated more recently reported more impairment.
Choroidal melanoma patients’ greatest cancer-related need is for health information. The reported level of need in this sample is significantly greater than that reported by other cancer samples and may reflect lack of public information related to choroidal melanoma. Patients who report poorer visual functioning also experience greater psychological morbidity and may benefit from counseling referrals. Notably, patients treated more recently report more visual problems indicating that vision itself, or adjustment to changed vision, may improve for choroidal melanoma patients over time.
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