Cancer patients, as well as the dedicated oncology nurses caring for them, recognize the multifaceted challenges that arise during cancer diagnosis and treatment. In a recent investigation led by Dr. Yıldız İpek, MD, the aim was to shed light on potential disparities in anxiety levels among patients receiving oral versus intravenous (IV) chemotherapeutic treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Presented during the 2023 Society of Hematologic Oncology Annual Meeting, the study conducted by Dr. İpek and her team revealed intriguing findings. They discovered that patients receiving IV treatments exhibited heightened levels of anxiety compared to their counterparts receiving oral therapies. Additionally, patients with prior treatment experiences displayed reduced anxiety levels, potentially attributable to their familiarity with the treatment process.
It’s noteworthy that anxiety manifested across the patient spectrum, with female patients generally reporting higher anxiety levels. The authors emphasized the significance of adopting a multidisciplinary approach, which incorporates psychiatric support, as both treatment groups displayed moderate to high-grade anxiety levels. This underscores the importance of addressing the emotional well-being of cancer patients during their treatment journey.
The study enrolled 13 male and 8 female patients, with a median age of 64.2 years, who had received their CLL diagnosis within the past 5 years and had not undergone prior psychiatric interventions. Among the 21 participants, 10 were undergoing first-line treatment, while 11 had previously been treated and experienced relapse. Oral cancer agents administered included ibrutinib, obinutuzumab venetoclax, and rituximab venetoclax. Initial assessments of anxiety levels were conducted using various scoring tools at the commencement of their treatment.
In summation, Dr. İpek and her colleagues stressed the pivotal role of addressing anxiety for the holistic well-being of both patients and their families throughout the demanding and protracted cancer treatment process. Oncology nurses play a crucial part in recognizing and supporting patients dealing with anxiety, ensuring that they receive the comprehensive care they require during their cancer journey.
İpek Y. Difference in Anxiety Between Oral or Intravenous Treatment in Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Abstract CLL-117. Presented at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology; September 6-9, 2023; Houston, Texas.