Study assesses change over time of anxiety, depression in brain tumor patients

A new study of 99 patients with primary brain tumors offers insight into factors that may predict symptom trajectories of anxiety and depression.

Co-led by researchers from the McKnight Brain Institute and colleagues at Wake Forest University and the University of Southern California, the study used psychosocial assessments at neuro-oncology appointments over six to 18 months to measure quality of life and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Portraits of doctors Ghiaseddin and Pereira
(From left) Drs. Ashley Ghiaseddin and Deidre Pereira

The study, led by Ashley P. Ghiaseddin, M.D., an associate professor of neurosurgery, and Deidre B. Pereira, Ph.D., an associate professor of clinical and health psychology and associate chair for postgraduate programs in the College of Public Health and Health Professions, was published in September in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology.

At enrollment, 51.5% of patients exhibited clinically elevated levels of anxiety, and 32.3% exhibited clinically elevated levels of depression, according to the findings. Of the 74 patients with follow-up data, 54.1% experienced clinically meaningful increases in anxiety, and 50% experienced clinically meaningful increases in depression.

“Routine screening for elevated symptoms is needed to capture clinically meaningful changes and identify factors affecting symptoms to intervene on,” the authors concluded.

Read the paper in Journal of Neuro-Oncology.