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Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Patients With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A One-Year Longitudinal Study

Etienne Bastien, Sophie Lefèvre-Arbogast, Justine Lequesne, François Gernier, François Cherifi, Olivier Rigal, Lydia Guittet, Jean‐Michel Grellard, Giulia Binarelli, Marie Lange, Marie Fernette, Laure Tron, Adeline Morel, Doriane Richard, Bénédicte Griffon, Alexandra Leconte, Florian Quilan, Louis-Ferdinand Pépin, Fabrice Jardin, Marianne Leheurteur, Audrey Faveyrial, Bénédicte Clarisse, and Florence Joly

Background: Patients with cancer may be particularly vulnerable to psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. We studied the prevalence and evolution of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in patients with cancer during the pandemic waves, and we investigated factors associated with high symptoms. Methods: COVIPACT is a 1-year longitudinal prospective study of French patients with solid/hematologic malignancies receiving treatment during the first nationwide lockdown. PTSS were measured every 3 months from April 2020 using the Impact of Event Scale–Revised. Patients also completed questionnaires on their quality of life, cognitive complaints, insomnia, and COVID-19 lockdown experience. Results: Longitudinal analyses involved 386 patients with at least one PTSS assessment after baseline (median age, 63 years; 76% female). Among them, 21.5% had moderate/severe PTSS during the first lockdown. The rate of patients reporting PTSS decreased at lockdown release (13.6%), increased again at second lockdown (23.2%), and slightly declined from the second release period (22.7%) to the third lockdown (17.5%). Patients were grouped into 3 trajectories of evolution. Most patients had stable low symptoms throughout the period, 6% had high baseline symptoms slowly decreasing over time, and 17.6% had moderate symptoms worsening during the second lockdown. Female sex, feeling socially isolated, worrying about COVID-19 infection, and using psychotropic drugs were associated with PTSS. PTSS were associated with impaired quality of life, sleep, and cognition. Conclusions: Approximately one-fourth of patients with cancer experienced high and persistent PTSS over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and may benefit from psychological support.

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04366154

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Uptake of Recommendations for Posttreatment Cancer-Related Fatigue Among Breast Cancer Survivors

Antonio Di Meglio, Cecile Charles, Elise Martin, Julie Havas, Arnauld Gbenou, Jean-Daniel Flaysakier, Anne-Laure Martin, Sibille Everhard, Enora Laas, Nicolas Chopin, Laurence Vanlemmens, Christelle Jouannaud, Christelle Levy, Olivier Rigal, Marion Fournier, Patrick Soulie, Florian Scotte, Barbara Pistilli, Agnes Dumas, Gwenn Menvielle, Fabrice André, Stefan Michiels, Sarah Dauchy, and Ines Vaz-Luis

Background: Physical activity (PA) and psychosocial interventions are recommended management strategies for cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Randomized trials support the use of mind–body techniques, whereas no data show benefit for homeopathy or naturopathy. Methods: We used data from CANTO (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01993498), a multicenter, prospective study of stage I–III breast cancer (BC). CRF, evaluated after primary treatment completion using the EORTC QLQ-C30 (global CRF) and QLQ-FA12 (physical, emotional, and cognitive dimensions), served as the independent variable (severe [score of ≥40/100] vs nonsevere). Outcomes of interest were adherence to PA recommendations (≥10 metabolic equivalent of task [MET] h/week [GPAQ-16]) and participation in consultations with a psychologist, psychiatrist, acupuncturist, or other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner (homeopath and/or naturopath) after CRF assessment. Multivariable logistic regression examined associations between CRF and outcomes, adjusting for sociodemographic, psychologic, tumor, and treatment characteristics. Results: Among 7,902 women diagnosed from 2012 through 2017, 36.4% reported severe global CRF, and 35.8%, 22.6%, and 14.1% reported severe physical, emotional, and cognitive CRF, respectively. Patients reporting severe global CRF were less likely to adhere to PA recommendations (60.4% vs 66.7%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71–0.94; P=.004), and slightly more likely to see a psychologist (13.8% vs 7.5%; aOR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05–1.58; P=.014), psychiatrist (10.4% vs 5.0%; aOR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.10–1.76; P=.0064), acupuncturist (9.8% vs 6.5%; aOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.17–1.82; P=.0008), or CAM practitioner (12.5% vs 8.2%; aOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.23–1.82; P<.0001). There were differences in recommendation uptake by CRF dimension, including that severe physical CRF was associated with lower adherence to PA (aOR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63–0.86; P=.0001) and severe emotional CRF was associated with higher likelihood of psychologic consultations (aOR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.06–1.79; P=.017). Conclusions: Uptake of recommendations to improve CRF, including adequate PA and use of psychosocial services, seemed suboptimal among patients with early-stage BC, whereas there was a nonnegligible interest in homeopathy and naturopathy. Findings of this large study indicate the need to implement recommendations for managing CRF in clinical practice.

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Uptake of Recommendations for Posttreatment Cancer-Related Fatigue Among Breast Cancer Survivors

Antonio Di Meglio, Cecile Charles, Elise Martin, Julie Havas, Arnauld Gbenou, Jean-Daniel Flaysakier, Anne-Laure Martin, Sibille Everhard, Enora Laas, Nicolas Chopin, Laurence Vanlemmens, Christelle Jouannaud, Christelle Levy, Olivier Rigal, Marion Fournier, Patrick Soulie, Florian Scotte, Barbara Pistilli, Agnes Dumas, Gwenn Menvielle, Fabrice André, Stefan Michiels, Sarah Dauchy, and Ines Vaz-Luis

Background: Physical activity (PA) and psychosocial interventions are recommended management strategies for cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Randomized trials support the use of mind–body techniques, whereas no data show benefit for homeopathy or naturopathy. Methods: We used data from CANTO (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01993498), a multicenter, prospective study of stage I–III breast cancer (BC). CRF, evaluated after primary treatment completion using the EORTC QLQ-C30 (global CRF) and QLQ-FA12 (physical, emotional, and cognitive dimensions), served as the independent variable (severe [score of ≥40/100] vs nonsevere). Outcomes of interest were adherence to PA recommendations (≥10 metabolic equivalent of task [MET] h/week [GPAQ-16]) and participation in consultations with a psychologist, psychiatrist, acupuncturist, or other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner (homeopath and/or naturopath) after CRF assessment. Multivariable logistic regression examined associations between CRF and outcomes, adjusting for sociodemographic, psychologic, tumor, and treatment characteristics. Results: Among 7,902 women diagnosed from 2012 through 2017, 36.4% reported severe global CRF, and 35.8%, 22.6%, and 14.1% reported severe physical, emotional, and cognitive CRF, respectively. Patients reporting severe global CRF were less likely to adhere to PA recommendations (60.4% vs 66.7%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71–0.94; P=.004), and slightly more likely to see a psychologist (13.8% vs 7.5%; aOR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05–1.58; P=.014), psychiatrist (10.4% vs 5.0%; aOR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.10–1.76; P=.0064), acupuncturist (9.8% vs 6.5%; aOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.17–1.82; P=.0008), or CAM practitioner (12.5% vs 8.2%; aOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.23–1.82; P<.0001). There were differences in recommendation uptake by CRF dimension, including that severe physical CRF was associated with lower adherence to PA (aOR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63–0.86; P=.0001) and severe emotional CRF was associated with higher likelihood of psychologic consultations (aOR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.06–1.79; P=.017). Conclusions: Uptake of recommendations to improve CRF, including adequate PA and use of psychosocial services, seemed suboptimal among patients with early-stage BC, whereas there was a nonnegligible interest in homeopathy and naturopathy. Findings of this large study indicate the need to implement recommendations for managing CRF in clinical practice.