In a sample of 2205 newly diagnosed patients with lung cancer, emotional problems were associated with demographic and clinical variables—younger age, female gender, cigarette smoking, employment, advanced cancer stage, surgical or chemotherapy treatment, and lower performance status. Emotional problems were also associated with lower quality of life and greater symptom burden. Targeted psychosocial interventions can mitigate this association for the patient with lung cancer. Objectives Lung cancer is associated with a greater symptom burden than other cancers, yet little is known about the prevalence of emotional problems and how emotional problems may be related to the physical symptom burden and quality of life in newly diagnosed patients with lung cancer. This study aimed to identify the patient and disease characteristics of patients with lung cancer experiencing emotional problems and to examine how emotional problems relate to quality of life and symptom burden. Patients and Methods A total of 2205 newly diagnosed patients with lung cancer completed questionnaires on emotional problems, quality of life, and symptom burden. Results Emotional problems at diagnosis were associated with younger age, female gender, current cigarette smoking, current employment, advanced lung cancer disease, surgical or chemotherapy treatment, and a lower Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance score. Additionally, strong associations were found between greater severity of emotional problems, lower quality of life, and greater symptom burden. Conclusion Certain characteristics place patients with lung cancer at greater risk for emotional problems, which are associated with a reduced quality of life and greater symptom burden. Assessment of the presence of emotional problems at the time of lung cancer diagnosis provides the opportunity to offer tailored strategies for managing negative mood, and for improving the quality of life and symptom burden management of patients with lung cancer.
- Newly diagnosed cancer
- Patient/disease characteristics
- Physical symptom burden
- Psychological distress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research