Prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors

A 1-year follow-up study

Minyoung Kwak, Brad J. Zebrack, Kathleen A. Meeske, Leanne Embry, Christine Aguilar, Rebecca Block, Brandon Hayes-Lattin, Yun Li, Melissa Butler, Steven Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) have been identified as a meaningful indicator of distress in cancer survivors. Distinct from young adult survivors of childhood cancer, young people diagnosed with cancer as adolescents and young adults (AYAs) face unique psychosocial issues; however, there is little published research of PTSS in the AYA population. This study examines prevalence and predictors of PTSS among AYAs with cancer. Methods As part of a longitudinal study of AYAs with cancer, 151 patients aged 15-39 years completed mailed surveys at 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis. Severity of PTSS was estimated at 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the predictive effects of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics on changes in PTSS over time. Results At 6 and 12 months, respectively, 39% and 44% of participants reported moderate to severe levels of PTSS; 29% had PTSS levels suggestive of post-traumatic stress disorder. No significant differences in severity of PTSS between 6 and 12 months were observed. Regression analyses suggested that a greater number of side effects were associated with higher levels of PTSS at 6 months. Currently receiving treatment, having surgical treatment, diagnosis of a cancer type with a 90-100% survival rate, remaining unemployed/not in school, and greater PTSS at 6 months were associated with higher levels of PTSS at 12 months. Conclusions Post-traumatic stress symptoms were observed as early as 6 months following diagnosis and remained stable at 12-month follow-up. The development of early interventions for reducing distress among AYA patients in treatment is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1798-1806
Number of pages9
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

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Survivors
Young Adult
Neoplasms
Regression Analysis
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Longitudinal Studies
Therapeutics
Survival Rate
Cross-Sectional Studies
Demography
Research
Population

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • cancer
  • oncology
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • post-traumatic stress symptoms
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors : A 1-year follow-up study. / Kwak, Minyoung; Zebrack, Brad J.; Meeske, Kathleen A.; Embry, Leanne; Aguilar, Christine; Block, Rebecca; Hayes-Lattin, Brandon; Li, Yun; Butler, Melissa; Cole, Steven.

In: Psycho-Oncology, Vol. 22, No. 8, 08.2013, p. 1798-1806.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kwak, M, Zebrack, BJ, Meeske, KA, Embry, L, Aguilar, C, Block, R, Hayes-Lattin, B, Li, Y, Butler, M & Cole, S 2013, 'Prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: A 1-year follow-up study', Psycho-Oncology, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 1798-1806. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.3217
Kwak, Minyoung ; Zebrack, Brad J. ; Meeske, Kathleen A. ; Embry, Leanne ; Aguilar, Christine ; Block, Rebecca ; Hayes-Lattin, Brandon ; Li, Yun ; Butler, Melissa ; Cole, Steven. / Prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors : A 1-year follow-up study. In: Psycho-Oncology. 2013 ; Vol. 22, No. 8. pp. 1798-1806.
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AU - Embry, Leanne

AU - Aguilar, Christine

AU - Block, Rebecca

AU - Hayes-Lattin, Brandon

AU - Li, Yun

AU - Butler, Melissa

AU - Cole, Steven

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N2 - Objectives Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) have been identified as a meaningful indicator of distress in cancer survivors. Distinct from young adult survivors of childhood cancer, young people diagnosed with cancer as adolescents and young adults (AYAs) face unique psychosocial issues; however, there is little published research of PTSS in the AYA population. This study examines prevalence and predictors of PTSS among AYAs with cancer. Methods As part of a longitudinal study of AYAs with cancer, 151 patients aged 15-39 years completed mailed surveys at 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis. Severity of PTSS was estimated at 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the predictive effects of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics on changes in PTSS over time. Results At 6 and 12 months, respectively, 39% and 44% of participants reported moderate to severe levels of PTSS; 29% had PTSS levels suggestive of post-traumatic stress disorder. No significant differences in severity of PTSS between 6 and 12 months were observed. Regression analyses suggested that a greater number of side effects were associated with higher levels of PTSS at 6 months. Currently receiving treatment, having surgical treatment, diagnosis of a cancer type with a 90-100% survival rate, remaining unemployed/not in school, and greater PTSS at 6 months were associated with higher levels of PTSS at 12 months. Conclusions Post-traumatic stress symptoms were observed as early as 6 months following diagnosis and remained stable at 12-month follow-up. The development of early interventions for reducing distress among AYA patients in treatment is recommended.

AB - Objectives Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) have been identified as a meaningful indicator of distress in cancer survivors. Distinct from young adult survivors of childhood cancer, young people diagnosed with cancer as adolescents and young adults (AYAs) face unique psychosocial issues; however, there is little published research of PTSS in the AYA population. This study examines prevalence and predictors of PTSS among AYAs with cancer. Methods As part of a longitudinal study of AYAs with cancer, 151 patients aged 15-39 years completed mailed surveys at 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis. Severity of PTSS was estimated at 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the predictive effects of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics on changes in PTSS over time. Results At 6 and 12 months, respectively, 39% and 44% of participants reported moderate to severe levels of PTSS; 29% had PTSS levels suggestive of post-traumatic stress disorder. No significant differences in severity of PTSS between 6 and 12 months were observed. Regression analyses suggested that a greater number of side effects were associated with higher levels of PTSS at 6 months. Currently receiving treatment, having surgical treatment, diagnosis of a cancer type with a 90-100% survival rate, remaining unemployed/not in school, and greater PTSS at 6 months were associated with higher levels of PTSS at 12 months. Conclusions Post-traumatic stress symptoms were observed as early as 6 months following diagnosis and remained stable at 12-month follow-up. The development of early interventions for reducing distress among AYA patients in treatment is recommended.

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