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Klingenstein, Annemarie; Samel, Christina; Garip‐Kuebler, Aylin; Miller, Christina; Liegl, Raffael G.; Priglinger, Siegfried G. and Foerster, Paul I. (May 2020): The national comprehensive cancer network distress thermometer as a screening tool for the evaluation of quality of life in uveal melanoma patients. In: Acta Ophthalmologica, Vol. 98, No. 3, e381-e387 [PDF, 404kB]


Purpose To assess quality of life (QoL) status via the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN ) distress thermometer as a psychooncological screening tool in uveal melanoma patients.

Methods One hundred and six consecutive patients suffering from uveal melanoma completed the distress thermometer between 04/2018 and 12/2018. Practical, emotional, family concerned, spiritual, physical and overall distress levels, distribution of distress and subgroup analyses defining groups of potential high distress levels in need of intervention were assessed. Descriptive statistics, cross‐tabulations, chi‐square and Fisher's exact test as well as correlation coefficients (Spearman's rho) and receiver operating characteristic (ROC ) were used for analysis.

Results Patients with higher T‐category had significantly more emotional problems and spiritual concerns (p = 0.046 and p = 0.023, respectively). Female patients accounted for higher rates of physical issues (p = 0.034). Lower best corrected visual acuity (BCVA ) was correlated with higher distress levels (p = 0.037). Patients resulting in loss of BCVA of ≥3 lines reported higher distress levels (p = 0.029). A distress threshold of 5 on the basis of ROC analysis showed a corresponding sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 76%.

Conclusion The NCCN distress thermometer could be integrated well into our clinical routine and proved to be a rapid, yet sensible screening tool for emotional and physical distress in patients with uveal melanoma. Special attention should be paid to patients with higher T‐category and patients resulting in lower levels of BCVA . As in patients with different tumour entities, the established distress threshold of ≥5 proposing intervention proved to be adequate for uveal melanoma patients.

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