Treatment decision difficulties and post-operative distress predict persistence of psychological morbidity in Chinese women following breast cancer surgery



Background: The patterns and determinants of longer-term psychological morbidity in women following breast cancer surgery have not been described for Chinese populations.

Methods: Chinese women were assessed at 3-days, 4-months and 8-months following breast surgery, on treatment decision-making difficulty (TDMD), satisfaction with treatment outcome (E-OI), self efficacy (GSeS), optimism (C-LOT-R), consultation satisfaction (C-MISS-R), physical symptom distress (PSD) and psychological morbidity (CHQ-12) and compared using polynomial logistic models.

Results: Of 303/405 women providing complete data, 33% received chemotherapy and 26% radiotherapy. GSeS, CLOTR and TDMD scores were moderate. Though the proportion of women meeting psychological morbidity case-criteria declined from 78% (95% Confidence Interval 73–83%) at Baseline to 64% (59–69%) at 8-months, almost 50% (44–54%) of women remained distressed over the 8-month period. After adjustment for demographic and clinical factors, severity of psychological morbidity at 4-months was predicted by PSD, disappointment and higher Baseline CHQ12, and among moderate/severe cases only, greater TDMD and pessimistic outlook. At 8-months, CHQ12 scores were predicted by PSD, Baseline CHQ-12, and difficulties with TDM.

Conclusion: TDM difficulties, early post-surgical psychological and physical symptom distress indicate risk for prolonged distress in Chinese women following breast cancer surgery. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.