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Psychological Health and Information Needs of New Patients With Uveal Melanoma

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018

Patients with newly diagnosed uveal melanoma reported unmet psychological and health information needs, especially within the first 3 months of diagnosis, says a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology. The level of need—higher than for those patients diagnosed with prostate and breast cancers—emphasizes the importance of health-care providers addressing these concerns early.

“These findings suggest that prior to or at diagnosis, the severity of such needs and psychosocial factors that may be associated can be identified for proactive supportive intervention,” concluded lead author Timothy J. Williamson, MA, MPH, of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Researchers conducted a 3-month survey, with patients focusing on the desire for help in psychological, physical, health information, communication, and social domains (among other areas). A total of 107 patients completed the baseline survey.

The results showed that 85 of 86 patients (99%) expressed at least 1 unmet need 1 week after diagnosis, and 68 of 79 patients (86%) had at least 1 unmet need 3 months after diagnosis. Prediagnosis instrumental social support and lower neuroticism were predictive of a lower unmet severity 1 week after diagnosis. A small social network also predicted a lower unmet need severity after 3 months as well as a decline in need from diagnosis to 3 months after. That finding, researchers hypothesized, suggests that larger networks may offer conflicting or overwhelming advice.



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