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  • Author: Henk M.W. Verheul x
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Claudia S.E.W. Schuurhuizen, Patricia Marino, Annemarie M.J. Braamse, Laurien M. Buffart, Florence Joly, Karim Fizazi, Muriel Habibian, Jean-Marie Boher, Michel Soulie, Stéphane Oudard, Inge R.H.M. Konings, Henk M.W. Verheul, Joost Dekker and Gwenaelle Gravis

Background: Current toxicity evaluation is primarily focused on high-grade adverse events (AEs) reported by clinicians. However, the cumulative effect of multiple lower-grade AEs may also impact patients' quality of life (QoL). Further, patient-reported toxicity may be more representative of patients' treatment experiences. This study aimed to determine whether cumulative toxicity comprising all-grade AEs is more associated with QoL than cumulative toxicity comprising high-grade AEs only, and whether patient-reported cumulative toxicity is more associated with QoL than clinician-reported cumulative toxicity. Methods: Patients with metastatic castration-naïve prostate cancer participating in the phase III GETUG-AFU 15 trial completed questionnaires on AEs (at 3 and 6 months) and QoL (at baseline and 3 and 6 months). Clinicians reported AEs during clinical visits. Cumulative toxicity scores were calculated for clinicians and patients in 3 ways: total number of high-grade AEs, total number of all-grade AEs, and total number of all AEs multiplied by their grade (severity score). Relationships between cumulative toxicity scores and QoL were studied using longitudinal regression analyses; unstandardized (B) and standardized regression coefficients (β) are reported. Results: Of 385 patients, 184 with complete QoL and toxicity data were included. Clinician-reported all-grade AEs (B, −2.2; 95% CI, −3.3 to −1.1; P<.01) and severity score (B, −1.4; 95% CI, −2.2 to −0.7; P<.01) were associated with deteriorated physical QoL, whereas the total number of high-grade AEs was not. All patient-reported scores were significantly (P<.01 for all) associated with deteriorated physical and global QoL. Standardized regression coefficients indicated that patient-reported toxicity scores were more associated with QoL outcomes than clinician-reported scores, with the strongest association found for the all-grade AEs and severity cumulative toxicity scores. Conclusions: Patient- and clinician-based cumulative toxicity scores comprising all-grade AEs better reflect impact on patient QoL than toxicity scores comprising high-grade AEs only. To assess the effect of toxicity on QoL, patient-reported cumulative toxicity scores are preferred.

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Claudia S.E.W. Schuurhuizen, Annemarie M.J. Braamse, Aartjan T.F. Beekman, Pim Cuijpers, Mecheline H.M. van der Linden, Adriaan W. Hoogendoorn, Hans Berkhof, Dirkje W. Sommeijer, Vera Lustig, Suzan Vrijaldenhoven, Haiko J. Bloemendal, Cees J. van Groeningen, Annette A. van Zweeden, Maurice J.D.L. van der Vorst, Ron Rietbroek, Cathrien S. Tromp-van Driel, Machteld N.W. Wymenga, Peter W. van der Linden, Aart Beeker, Marco B. Polee, Erdogan Batman, Maartje Los, Aart van Bochove, Jan A.C. Brakenhoff, Inge R.H.M. Konings, Henk M.W. Verheul and Joost Dekker

Background: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a screening and stepped care program (the TES program) in reducing psychological distress compared with care as usual (CAU) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer starting with first-line systemic palliative treatment. Patients and Methods: In this cluster randomized trial, 16 hospitals were assigned to the TES program or CAU. Patients in the TES arm were screened for psychological distress with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Distress Thermometer/Problem List (at baseline and 10 and 18 weeks). Stepped care was offered to patients with distress or expressed needs, and it consisted of watchful waiting, guided self-help, face-to-face problem-solving therapy, or referral to specialized mental healthcare. The primary outcome was change in psychological distress over time, and secondary outcomes were quality of life, satisfaction with care, and recognition and referral of distressed patients by clinicians. Linear mixed models and effect sizes were used to evaluate differences. Results: A total of 349 patients were randomized; 184 received the TES program and 165 received CAU. In the TES arm, 60.3% of the patients screened positive for psychological distress, 26.1% of which entered the stepped care program (14.7% used only watchful waiting and 11.4% used at least one of the other treatment steps). The observed low use of the TES program led us to pursue a futility analysis, which showed a small conditional power and therefore resulted in halted recruitment for this study. No difference was seen in change in psychological distress over time between the 2 groups (effect size, −0.16; 95% CI, −0.35 to 0.03; P>.05). The TES group reported higher satisfaction with the received treatment and better cognitive quality of life (all P<.05). Conclusions: As a result of the low use of stepped care, a combined screening and treatment program targeting psychological distress in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer did not improve psychological distress. Our results suggest that enhanced evaluation of psychosocial concerns may improve aspects of patient well-being.