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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Preoperative distress predicts persistent pain after breast cancer treatment: A prospective cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. Breast cancer mortality in synchronous bilateral breast cancer patients

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Persistent pain after breast cancer surgery

    Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisResearch

  3. Ductal carcinoma in situ

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. The effects of individually tailored nurse navigation for patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer: a randomized pilot study

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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PURPOSE: Persistent pain after breast cancer treatment (PPBCT) affects 25% to 60% of breast cancer survivors and is recognized as a clinical problem, with 10% to 15% reporting moderate to severe pain several years after treatment. Psychological comorbidity is known to influence pain perception, and evidence links signs of depression and anxiety with development of PPBCT. The purpose of this study was to assess preoperative distress as a predictive factor for development of PPBCT.

METHODS: Between October 2008 and October 2009, 426 women diagnosed with primary breast cancer, undergoing surgery at the Department of Breast Surgery, Rigshospitalet, Denmark, were invited to participate in the study. Patients filled out a questionnaire preoperatively, and 4 and 8 months after surgery. Preoperative distress was measured with the Distress Thermometer (DT; 11-point scale, 0-10). We examined the association between severe preoperative distress (using DT ≥7) and moderate to severe PPBCT 8 months after diagnosis using a logistic regression model.

RESULTS: A total of 357 patients participated in this study and 291 (82%) returned all follow-up questionnaires. Preoperative distress was significantly associated with moderate to severe PPBCT at 8 months, with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 2.05 (95% CI, 1.18-3.59; P=.01), and at 4 months, with an OR of 2.23 (95% CI, 1.23-4.05; P=.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative distress was associated with PPCBT, suggesting distress as an independent risk factor for PPBCT. Preoperative identification of patients at risk for PPBCT allows for further research in psychological and pharmacological treatment of this condition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNational Comprehensive Cancer Network. Journal
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)995-1003
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 45647012