Do Anxiety and Distress Increase During Active Surveillance for Low Risk Prostate Cancer?
Purpose: Anxiety and distress may be present in patients with low risk prostate cancer who are on active surveillance. This may be a reason to discontinue active surveillance. Materials and Methods: A total of 150 Dutch patients with prostate cancer on active surveillance in a prospective active surveillance study received questionnaires at study inclusion and 9 months after diagnosis. We assessed changes in scores on decisional conflict with the decisional conflict scale, depression with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, generic anxiety with the State Trait Anxiety Inventory, prostate cancer specific anxiety with the Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer and the self-estimated risk of progression. We explored scores 9 months after diagnosis vs those at study inclusion for physical health (SF-12® physical component summary), personality (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire), shared decision making, prostate cancer knowledge, demographics, medical parameters and prostate specific antigen doubling time during followup. Results: Questionnaires at study inclusion and 9 months after diagnosis were completed by 129 of 150 (86%) and 108 of 120 participants (90%) a median of 2.4 and 9.2 months after diagnosis, respectively. Anxiety and distress at study inclusion were previously found to be generally favorable. Significant but clinically irrelevant decreases were seen in mean scores of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (p = 0.016), Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer fear of progression subscale (p = 0.005) and the self-estimated risk of progression (p = 0.049). Anxiety and distress 9 months after diagnosis were mainly predicted by scores at study inclusion. Higher Eysenck Personality Questionnaire neuroticism score and an important role of the physician in the treatment decision had additionally unfavorable effects. Good physical health, palpable disease and older age had favorable effects. No association was seen for prostate specific antigen doubling time. Nine men discontinued active surveillance, including 2 due to nonmedical reasons. Conclusions: Anxiety and distress generally remain favorably low during the first 9 months of surveillance.