Preoperative somatic symptoms are associated with disease progression in patients with bladder carcinoma after cystectomy

Ganesh S. Palapattu, Patrick J. Bastian, Phillip R. Slavney, Mary Ellen Haisfield-Wolfe, Joanne M. Walker, Karlynn BrintzenhofeSzoc, Bruce Trock, James Zabora, Mark P. Schoenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. A link between patient psychologic factors and bladder carcinoma outcome has not been demonstrated. The purpose of the current study was to assess the association of psychologic factors measured preoperatively with bladder carcinoma progression after cystectomy. METHODS. The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI)-18 was administered prospectively to 65 patients with clinically localized bladder carcinoma before surgery. The BSI-18 measures distress in three specific domains - depression, anxiety, and somatization (i.e., distress due to somatic symptoms) - as well as general distress. Preoperative BSI-18 scores, tumor pathologic stage, and certain clinical variables were compared with disease status. Disease progression was defined as the development of either local disease recurrence or distant metastasis. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were constructed for statistical analysis. RESULTS. Of the 65 patients, 49 (79.4%) had no evidence of disease, 4 (6.2%) had local disease recurrence, and 12 (18.5%) had metastatic disease at last follow-up. The mean follow-up time was 1.3 years and did not differ significantly between survival outcomes (P = 0.577). Both tumor pathologic stage and preoperative somatic distress scores were associated with time to disease progression by univariate analysis (P = 0.038 and P = 0.055, respectively). After adjusting for tumor pathologic stage, a somatic distress score of ≥ 2.00 was a significant predictor of disease progression (P = 0.044, hazard ratio = 3.31, 95% confidence interval = 1.03-10.60). Patient age, gender, reconstruction type, and BSI-18 scores for depression, anxiety, and general distress were not significantly associated with disease outcome. CONCLUSIONS. The authors found no correlation between psychologic symptoms measured preoperatively (i.e., depression, anxiety, and general distress) and bladder carcinoma progression. However, they reported an association between somatic symptoms and cancer outcome. If confirmed by other studies, these results may have important implications for the diagnosis, staging, and potential treatment of patients with bladder carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2209-2213
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder carcinoma
  • Bodily symptoms
  • Psychologic distress
  • Somatization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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