The validity of the distress thermometer in prostate cancer populations

Chambers, Suzanne K. and Zajdlewicz, Leah and Youlden, Danny R. and Holland, Jimmie C. and Dunn, Jeff (2014) The validity of the distress thermometer in prostate cancer populations. Psycho-Oncology, 23 (2). pp. 195-203. ISSN 1057-9249

Abstract

Background The Distress Thermometer (DT) is widely recommended for screening for distress after cancer. However, the validity of the DT in men with prostate cancer and over differing time points from diagnosis has not been well examined. Method Receiver operating characteristics analyses were used to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the DT compared with three commonly used standardised scales in two prospective and one cross-sectional survey of men with prostate cancer (n = 740, 189 and 463, respectively). Comparison scales included the Impact of Event Scale - Revised (IES-R, Study 1), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, Study 2) and the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18, Study 3). Results Study 1: the DT showed good accuracy against the IES-R at all time points (area under curves (AUCs) ranging from 0.84 to 0.88) and sensitivity was high (>85%). Study 2: the DT performed well against both the anxiety and depression subscales for HADS at baseline (AUC = 0.84 and 0.82, respectively), but sensitivity decreased substantially after 12 months. Study 3: validity was high for the anxiety (AUC = 0.90, sensitivity = 90%) and depression (AUC = 0.85, sensitivity = 74%) subscales of the BSI-18 but was poorer for somatization (AUC = 0.67, sensitivity = 52%). A DT cut-off between ≥3 and ≥6 maximised sensitivity and specificity across analyses. Conclusions The DT is a valid tool to detect cancer-specific distress, anxiety and depression among prostate cancer patients, particularly close to diagnosis. A cut-off of ≥4 may be optimal soon after diagnosis, and for longer-term assessments, ≥3 was supported.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2017 04:08
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2017 01:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: distress screening; distress thermometer; prostate cancer; psychosocial care; Cancer; Urology and Nephrology; Psychiatry;
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/pon.3391
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32035

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