Introduction: Brain tumors are associated with poor health related quality of life however limited research exists evaluating the impact of mental distress, such as depressive symptoms, on quality of life of brain tumor patients. Thus, in the current we present results of an ongoing study evaluating association between mental distress and health related quality of life in brain tumor patients.
Methods: A total of 95 consecutive patients (n=68 women; mean age of 58±13 years) admitted for brain tumor surgery and within two days of scheduled surgery were evaluated for health related quality of life using the 20-item European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Brain Neoplasm (QLQ-BN20) with lower score indicating better quality of life; for symptoms of depression and anxiety using the Hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) with higher score indicating higher levels of respective symptoms; for number of neurologic symptoms; and for education.
Results: The majority of patients were diagnosed with meningioma (48%), followed by high grade gliomas (19%), pituitary adenomas (17%), acoustic neurinomas (8%) and other intracranial tumors (8%). On univariate analyses higher score on the QLQ-BN20 was associated with higher scores on the HADS depression subscale (r=0.45, p<0.001) and HADS anxiety subscale (r=0.35, p<0.001), suggesting that higher levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms were associated with worse health related quality of life. In multivariate regression analyses after adjusting for age, gender, education, tumor type and number of neurologic symptoms, elevated depressive symptoms was the only significant independent predictor of poor health related quality of life (beta=0.34, p=0.003) and explained 22% of variance of QLQ-BN20 score (R2=0.22, p<0.001).
Conclusions: Elevated depressive symptoms is independent predictor of poor health related quality of life in brain tumor patients. Hence, symptoms of mental distress should not be ignored in brain tumor patients.
Patient Care: Our findings suggest that timely identification and management of depression in brain tumor patients can lead to improved health related quality of life.
Learning Objectives: By conclusion of this section, participants should be able to learn that mental distress in an important predictor of poor health related quality of life in brain tumor patients and therefore should be addressed in brain tumor patients.