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Keywords

Adaptation, Anxiety, Cancer investigation, Chemotherapy, Patient compliance, Psychosocial, Socioeconomic factors

 

Authors

  1. Levin, Mark M.D.
  2. Mermelstein, Hindi M.D.
  3. Rigberg, Corey M.D.

Abstract

Socioeconomic, attitudinal, and psychological factors associated with acceptance or refusal of recommendations for chemotherapy were investigated in 64 consecutive patients with solid tumors or lymphoma who agreed to participate in this study. Patients filled out the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and a questionnaire that investigated selected factors. Patients also were asked if they believed in, used, had used, or planned to use alternative-complementary treatments for their cancer. Eight patients refused chemotherapy against the advice of their oncologist. Frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, and range was coded, and differences between the groups of those who accepted and those who rejected recommendations for chemotherapy were analyzed by chisquare, using unpaired t test and the Wilcoxon two-sample test. There was a significant increase in anxiety in the total study population as compared with patients who did not have cancer. In addition, all the BSI scores except those for anxiety were higher in patients who refused chemotherapy, and the difference was statistically significant.