Measurement of distress in Chinese inpatients with lymphoma

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The aim of this study was to assess the levels and sources of distress in patients with lymphoma. This study also focused on the influence of factors of the level of distress and the cutoff score using the Distress Thermometer (DT) relative to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).


DT and HADS were used to estimate the psychological status of 323 eligible lymphoma patients. The DT was evaluated against the HADS for its sensitivity and specificity.


One hundred and ninety-three (59.7%) lymphoma patients experienced overall distress on the HADS, with 137 (42.4%) experiencing anxiety and 114 (35.3%) suffering from depression. There were 199 (61.6%) and 163 (50.5%) patients with distress score ≥4 and ≥5, respectively. DT was significantly correlated with the HADS-total (T) (r = 0.820, p < 0.001), HADS-depression (D) (r = 0.763, p < 0.001), and HADS-anxiety (A) (r = 0.738, p < 0.001). The consistency of the DT and HADS was favorable (coherence index = 0.6030, p < 0.01) when the cutoff score was 5 for the DT. Referring to the cutoff of 15 on HADS, 5 on DT yielded optimal specificity (0.869, p < 0.001) and sensitivity (0.756, p < 0.001). In multiple logistic regression analysis, patients with ‘B symptoms’ were more likely to have a distress score ≥5 [OR = 4.512, p < 0.05, 95% CI 1.953–10.467].


DT is efficacious for screening for anxiety and depression in lymphoma patients. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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