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Mental health-care utilization in survivors of childhood cancer and siblings: the Swiss childhood cancer survivor study


Gianinazzi, Micol E; Rueegg, Corina S; von der Weid, Nicolas X; Niggli, Felix K; Kuehni, Claudia E; Michel, Gisela (2014). Mental health-care utilization in survivors of childhood cancer and siblings: the Swiss childhood cancer survivor study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 22(2):339-349.

Abstract

PURPOSE: We aimed to (1) describe the utilization of mental health-care in survivors and siblings, the association with severity of distress, and visits to other professionals in distressed survivors not utilizing mental health-care; and (2) identify factors associated with utilization of mental health-care in distressed survivors.
METHODS: Within the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we sent postal questionnaires to all participants aged <16 years at diagnosis (1976-2003), who survived ≥5 years after diagnosis and were aged ≥16 years at study. Survivors and siblings could indicate if they utilized mental health-care in the past year. Psychological distress was assessed with the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18). Participants with scores T ≥ 57 on two of three scales or the Global Severity Index were considered distressed.
RESULTS: We included 1,602 survivors and 703 siblings. Overall, 160 (10 %) and 53 (8 %), utilized mental health-care and 203 (14 %) and 127 (14 %) were considered distressed. Among these, 69 (34 %) survivors and 20 (24 %) siblings had utilized mental health-care. Participants with higher distress were more likely to utilize mental health-care. Distressed survivors not utilizing mental health-care were more likely to see a medical specialist than nondistressed. In the multivariable regression, factors associated with utilizing mental health-care were higher psychological distress and reporting late effects.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results underline the importance of developing interventional programs and implementing psychological screening in follow-up of survivors. It is also important to systematically address siblings' needs. In follow-up, patients at risk should be informed about existing possibilities or advised to visit mental health professionals.

Abstract

PURPOSE: We aimed to (1) describe the utilization of mental health-care in survivors and siblings, the association with severity of distress, and visits to other professionals in distressed survivors not utilizing mental health-care; and (2) identify factors associated with utilization of mental health-care in distressed survivors.
METHODS: Within the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we sent postal questionnaires to all participants aged <16 years at diagnosis (1976-2003), who survived ≥5 years after diagnosis and were aged ≥16 years at study. Survivors and siblings could indicate if they utilized mental health-care in the past year. Psychological distress was assessed with the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18). Participants with scores T ≥ 57 on two of three scales or the Global Severity Index were considered distressed.
RESULTS: We included 1,602 survivors and 703 siblings. Overall, 160 (10 %) and 53 (8 %), utilized mental health-care and 203 (14 %) and 127 (14 %) were considered distressed. Among these, 69 (34 %) survivors and 20 (24 %) siblings had utilized mental health-care. Participants with higher distress were more likely to utilize mental health-care. Distressed survivors not utilizing mental health-care were more likely to see a medical specialist than nondistressed. In the multivariable regression, factors associated with utilizing mental health-care were higher psychological distress and reporting late effects.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results underline the importance of developing interventional programs and implementing psychological screening in follow-up of survivors. It is also important to systematically address siblings' needs. In follow-up, patients at risk should be informed about existing possibilities or advised to visit mental health professionals.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:07 Nov 2013 11:37
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:07
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0941-4355
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-013-1976-3
PubMed ID:24081625

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