Prevalence of mental disorders and psychosocial distress in German adolescent and young adult cancer patients (AYA)
Abstract Objective This study provides prevalence data of mental disorders (4‐week, 1‐year, lifetime) and psychological distress in Adolescent and Young Adult (AYAs) with cancer. Methods We included an AYA subsample (15 to 39 year olds; diagnosed within the last 5 years) extracted from a larger sample (4.020 cancer patients) who had been recruited for an epidemiological study across all major tumor entities . Participants were assessed with a depression screener (PHQ‐9). Following that, 50% of the participants who scored below the cutoff of 9 and all patients who scored above were assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview for Oncology (CIDI‐O). Patients also completed an anxiety screener (GAD‐7). Results A total of 302 AYA (167 completed CIDI‐O) were identified. With regard to psychological distress, 29.5% of the AYA had increased depression symptoms (PHQ‐9), and 20.8% had increased anxiety symptoms (GAD‐7). Gender and age were associated with psychological distress, with women and older AYA being found to have higher distress. The 4‐week prevalence of mental disorders of any kind was 46.7% (95%‐CI:39%‐55%). Anxiety (24.4%; 95%‐CI:20%‐36%) and adjustment disorders (14.1%; 95%‐CI:9%‐19%) had the highest prevalence rates. The lowest prevalence rates were reported for alcohol dependence (0.8%; 95%‐CI:0%‐2%) and somatoform disorders (3.7%; 95%‐CI:1%‐7%). The 1‐year‐prevalence was 55.4% (CI:47.36‐62.64), and the lifetime‐prevalence was 69.5% (CI: 62.29‐77.06). Conclusion Our findings may sensitize clinicians to the possible presence of mental disorders in AYA. The results indicate that there is a strong need for psycho‐oncological interventions designed to improve mental health in AYAs with cancer at all stages of medical care.
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