Repeated participation in pancreatic cancer surveillance by high-risk individuals imposes low psychological burden

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Background:When assessing the feasibility of surveillance for pancreatic cancer (PC), it is important to address its psychological burden. The aim of this ongoing study is to evaluate the psychological burden of annual pancreatic surveillance for individuals at high risk to develop PC.Methods:This is a multicenter prospective study. High-risk individuals who undergo annual pancreatic surveillance with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) were invited to complete questionnaires to assess motivations for participating in surveillance, experiences with participation, perceived PC risk, topics of concern, and psychological distress. Questionnaires were sent after intake for participation (T1), after the first MRI and EUS (T2), and after the MRI and EUS 1 (T3), 2 (T4), and 3 years (T5) after first surveillance.Results:In total, 140 out of 152 individuals returned one or more of the questionnaires (response 92%); 477 questionnaires were analyzed. The most frequently reported motivation for participating in surveillance was the possible early detection of (a precursor stage of) cancer (95–100%). Only a minority of respondents experienced MRI and EUS as uncomfortable (10% and 11%, respectively), and respondents dreaded their next EUS investigation less as surveillance progressed. Respondents' cancer worries decreased significantly over time, and both their anxiety and depression scores remained stable and low over the 3-year period of follow-up.Conclusions:The psychological burden of pancreatic surveillance is low at all assessments. Therefore, from a psychological point of view, participation of high-risk individuals in an annual pancreatic surveillance program is feasible.

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