Relationship between negative mental adjustment to cancer and distress in thyroid cancer patients

Jeong Ho Seok, Won Jung Choi, Yong Sang Lee, Cheong Soo Park, Young Ja Oh, Jong Sun Kim, Hang Seok Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Previous studies have reported that over a third of cancer patients experience significant psychological distress with diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Mental adjustment to cancer as well as other biologic and demographic factors may be associated with their distress. We investigated the relationship between mental adjustment and distress in patients with thyroid cancer prior to thyroidectomy. Materials and Methods: One hundred and fifty-two thyroid cancer patients were included in the final analysis. After global distress levels were screened with a distress thermometer, patients were evaluated concerning mental adjustment to cancer, as well as demographic and cancer-related characteristics. A thyroid function test was also performed. Regression analysis was performed to discern significant factors associated with distress in thyroid cancer patients. Results: Our regression model was significant and explained 38.5% of the total variance in distress of this patient group. Anxious-preoccupation and helpless-hopeless factors on the mental adjustment to cancer scale were significantly associated with distress in thyroid cancer patients. Conclusion: Negative emotional response to cancer diagnosis may be associated with distress in thyroid cancer patients awaiting thyroidectomy. Screening of mental coping strategies at the beginning of cancer treatment may predict psychological distress in cancer patients. Further studies on the efficacy of psychiatric intervention during cancer treatment may be needed for patients showing maladaptive psychological responses to cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-664
Number of pages7
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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