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October 2021

Psychological distress among cancer patients and informed consent

Author(s): Lydon, A., Lloyd, K.

Journal/Book: J Psychosom Res. 1999; 46: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 241-245.

Abstract: This study examines the relationships between satisfaction with information provided, understanding of consent procedures, and levels of anxiety/depression in a sample of patients undergoing radiotherapy for cancer. One hundred patients completed a 13-item self-report questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Twenty-two percent of patients could not recall signing a consent form and, for those who did recall, the level of understanding for what they had consented to was patchy. One fourth of patients could not recall being told of the side-effects from radiotherapy and were unable to list even common side-effects, such as tiredness, skin irritation, and sickness. No patient had been told about the low risk of second malignancy. Twenty-eight percent of patients were unhappy with the amount of information offered to them. Thirty percent of patients reached caseness for adjustment disorder +/-anxiety/depression. Thirteen percent of patients reached caseness for major depression. There was a significant correlation between patients who scored highly on the HADS and dissatisfaction with the information provided. Clinical implications and possible mechanisms of these findings are discussed.

Note: Article Montgomery C, Wonford House Hosp, Dept Mental Hlth, Dryden Rd, Exeter EX2 5AF, Devon, ENGLAND

Keyword(s): cancer; consent; information; psychological distress; INFORMATION PREFERENCES; HOSPITAL ANXIETY; BREAST-CANCER; DEPRESSION; VALIDATION; DIAGNOSIS; DISORDERS; SCALE; NEWS


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