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This study aimed to validate the Japanese versions of the Trust in Oncologist Scale (TiOS-J) and the TiOS-Short Form (TiOS-SF-J).
A cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted among cancer patients in Japan. The forward-backward translation method was used to develop the TiOS-J. The web-based survey was mailed to 633 people, of whom 309 responded. After 2 weeks, 103 among the 156 first-time respondents completed the second survey to verify the reliability of the retest method. The validity was evaluated by exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), Spearman’s correlation coefficients between the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire-Japanese, willingness to recommend the oncologist, trust in health care, and number of oncological consultations. To evaluate reliability, Cronbach’s α and test–retest correlation were calculated.
The theoretically driven four-factor model and the EFA-driven one-factor model of the full-form TiOS-J (18 items) did not result in an acceptable fit; however, CFA supported the one-dimensionality of the 5 items from the TiOS-SF-J (χ2 (5) = 12.36, p = 0.03, goodness-of-fit index = 0.984, adjusted goodness-of-fit index = 0.952, comparative fit index = 0.991, and root mean square error of approximation = 0.069). With regard to the reliability of TiOS-J and TiOS-SF-J, the Cronbach’s alpha values were 0.94 and 0.89, respectively; the test–retest values were 0.82 and 0.78.
Significance of Results
This study indicated that the TiOS-J and TiOS-SF-J are valid and reliable instruments for measuring patients’ trust in their oncologists and can be used to assess trust in oncologists for both clinical and research purposes.
Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients may be at high risk of experiencing psychological distress because their diagnosis came during a key time of consolidation of identity and social growth. This study aimed (1) to examine the prevalence of psychological distress among AYA cancer patients within a year of diagnosis to long-term survivors and (2) to describe socio-demographic and cancer-related characteristics associated with psychological distress.
In a cross-sectional web-based survey, patients who scored 5 or more on the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale were assessed for significant psychological distress. Logistic regression examined whether demographics, clinical variables, and social support were associated with psychological distress.
A total of 206 young adult cancer patients participated. The median age at the survey was 34.5 years (range: 22–39 years), and 87.4% were female. The prevalence of psychological distress was 55.3%. Psychological distress among patients diagnosed within a year and long-term survivors (≥10 years since diagnosis) was significantly higher than patients 1–4 years since diagnosis. Pain, decrease in income after a cancer diagnosis, experience of negative change in work/school after a cancer diagnosis and poor social support were significantly associated with psychological distress.
Significance of results
Over half of young adult patients had significant psychological distress in Japan. Our findings potentially contribute to the intervention components for distress management among AYA cancer survivors.
Early integration of palliative and cancer care improves the quality of life and is facilitated by discussions about the end of life after cessation of active cancer treatment between patients with advanced cancer and their physicians. However, both patients and physicians find end-of-life discussions challenging. The aim of this study was to assess the need for a question prompt list (QPL) that encourages end-of-life discussions between patients with advanced cancer and their physicians.
Focus group interviews (FGIs) were conducted with 18 participants comprising 5 pancreatic cancer patients, 3 family caregivers, 4 bereaved family members, and 6 physicians. Three themes were discussed: question items that should be included in the QPL that encourages end-of-life discussions with patients, family caregivers, and physicians after cessation of active cancer treatment; when the QPL should be provided; and who should provide the QPL. Each interview was audio-recorded, and content analysis was performed.
The following 9 categories, with 57 question items, emerged from the FGIs: (1) preparing for the end of life, (2) treatment decision-making, (3) current and future quality of life, (4) current and future symptom management, (5) information on the transition to palliative care services, (6) coping with cancer, (7) caregivers’ role, (8) psychological care, and (9) continuity of cancer care. Participants felt that the physician in charge of the patient's care and other medical staff should provide the QPL early during active cancer treatment.
Significance of results
Data were collected to develop a QPL that encourages end-of-life discussions between patients with advanced cancer and their physicians.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity and reliability of the Japanese version of the Peace, Equanimity, and Acceptance in the Cancer Experience questionnaire (PEACE-J) and to evaluate the association between the PEACE subscales and Japanese patient characteristics.
A cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted among 412 patients with cancer. This survey assessed medical and demographic factors, such as the PEACE, the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS), and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy — Spiritual well-being (FACIT-Sp). The forward–backward translation method was used to develop the PEACE-J. The validity of PEACE-J was evaluated by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and correlation analysis between each subscale of PEACE and FACIT-Sp and CISS. The Cronbach's α and the item-total correlation of each subscale of the PEACE questionnaire were calculated to assess internal consistency reliability.
The factor analysis yielded two subscales corresponding to the original version: Cronbach's α coefficients were 0.84 and 0.86 for the Peaceful Acceptance of Illness subscale and the Struggle with Illness subscale, respectively. The PEACE subscales and the FACIT-Sp subscales and the CISS subscales were moderately associated with each other, including the Peaceful Acceptance to each subscale of FACIT (r = 0.22–0.55, p < 0.01); and the Peaceful Acceptance and the Struggle with Illness to CISS emotion-oriented coping (r = −0.36 and r = 0.45, p < 0.01, respectively). Married patients showed higher levels of peaceful acceptance than unmarried patients (p < 0.001). Poorer performance status, chemotherapy use, and recurrence or metastasis were significantly associated with higher levels of struggle with illness (p < 0.001).
Significance of results
This study indicated that the PEACE-J is a valid and reliable measure of the patient's sense of acceptance, calmness or equanimity, and peace, as well as their sense of struggle or desperation concerning their illness.
In medical practice, a patient’s loss of competency is a major obstacle when choosing a treatment and a starting treatment program smoothly. A large number of studies have revealed the lack of medical competency in patients with dementia. However, there have been only a few reports focusing on the capacity of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to make a medical choice.
In this study, we evaluated the competency of 40 patients with amnestic MCI (aMCI) and 33 normal subjects to make a medical choice using the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool-Treatment (MacCAT-T). We compared the judgement of a team conference using the recorded semi-structured interview with the clinical judgement of a chief clinician.
A team conference concluded that 12 aMCI patients had no competency, and the clinical judgement, without any special interview, judged that five aMCI patients had no competency. All subjects in the control groups were judged to be competent to consent to treatment by both clinicians and the team conference.
Without supplementary tools such as explanatory documents, not a few patients with aMCI were judged by a team conference to have no competency to consent to therapy even in a relatively simple and easy case. In contrast, clinical physicians tended to evaluate the competency of aMCI patients in a generous manner.
Recently, rehabilitation therapists have become involved in cancer rehabilitation; however, no communication skills training that increases the ability to provide emotional support for cancer patients has been developed for rehabilitation therapists. In addition, no study has examined associations between rehabilitation therapists’ communication skills and their level of autistic-like traits (ALT), which are in-born characteristics including specific communication styles and difficulty communicating with patients. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether confidence in communicating with patients mitigates communication difficulties experienced by rehabilitation therapists who have high levels of ALT.
Rehabilitation therapists who treat patients with cancer completed self-administered postal questionnaires anonymously. Scores were obtained on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient short form, confidence in communication, and communication difficulties. We used covariance structure analyses to test hypothetical models, and confirmed that confidence in communication mediates the relationship between ALT and perceived communication difficulties.
Participants included 1,343 respondents (49.6%). Autism-Spectrum Quotient scores were positively correlated with communication difficulties (r = 0.16, p < 0.001). The correlation was mitigated by confidence in communication in the fit model. However, higher confidence in creating a supportive atmosphere was associated with more difficulty in communication (r = 0.16, p < 0.001).
Significance of results
Communication difficulty was linked to rehabilitation therapists’ ALTs. By increasing confidence in areas of communication other than creation of a supportive atmosphere, ALT-related difficulties in communication may be ameliorated. Confidence to create supportive environments correlated positively with difficulty. Communication skills training to increase confidence in communication for rehabilitation therapists should be developed with vigilance regarding ALT levels.
Communication based on patient preferences can alleviate their psychological distress and is an important part of patient-centered care for physicians who have the task of conveying bad news to cancer patients. The present study aimed to explore the demographic, medical, and psychological factors associated with patient preferences with regard to communication of bad news.
Outpatients with a variety of cancers were consecutively invited to participate in our study after their follow-up medical visit. A questionnaire assessed their preferences regarding the communication of bad news, covering four factors—(1) how bad news is delivered, (2) reassurance and emotional support, (3) additional information, and (4) setting—as well as on demographic, medical, and psychosocial factors.
A total of 529 outpatients with a variety of cancers completed the questionnaire. Multiple regression analyses indicated that patients who were younger, female, had greater faith in their physician, and were more highly educated placed more importance on “how bad news is delivered” than patients who were older, male, had less faith in their physician, and a lower level of education. Female patients and patients without an occupation placed more importance on “reassurance and emotional support.” Younger, female, and more highly educated patients placed more importance on “additional information.” Younger, female, and more highly educated patients, along with patients who weren't undergoing active treatment placed more importance on “setting.”
Significance of Results:
Patient preferences with regard to communication of bad news are associated with factors related to patient background. Physicians should consider these characteristics when delivering bad news and use an appropriate communication style tailored to each patient.
The death of a loved one is one of the most stressful events of life, and such stress affects the physical and psychological well-being of the bereaved. Dissociative amnesia is characterized by an inability to recall important autobiographical information. Dissociative amnesia in the bereaved who have lost a loved one to cancer has not been previously reported. We discuss herein the case of a patient who developed dissociative amnesia the day after the death of here beloved husband.
A 38-year-old woman was referred for psychiatric consultation because of restlessness and abnormal behavior. Her 44-year-old husband had died of pancreatic cancer the day before the consultation. On the day of the death, she looked upset and began to hyperventilate. The next day, she behaved as if the deceased were still alive, which embarrassed her family. At her initial psychiatric consultation, she talked and behaved as if her husband was still alive and in the hospital.
Her psychiatric features fulfilled the DSM–V criteria for dissociative amnesia. The death of her husband had been very traumatic for her and was considered to have been one of the causes of this dissociation.
Significance of Results:
This report adds to the list of psychiatric symptoms in the bereaved who have lost a loved one to cancer. In an oncology setting, we should consider the impact of death, the concomitant defense mechanisms, and the background of the families.
There are many quality of life (QOL) instruments for evaluating dementia patients. The QOL questionnaire for Dementia (QOL-D) is one of such instruments and a validated objective measure of QOL for patients with dementia. It comprises 31 items encompassing six domains. However, with 31 items, its length is a disadvantage. The purpose of this study was to develop a short version of QOL-D (short QOL-D).
We used data from two studies. The participants were 264 inpatients with dementia in the first sample and 395 outpatients at a memory clinic in the second sample. We used maximum likelihood factor analysis with promax rotation to reduce the number of items.
We produced a nine-item version of QOL-D (short QOL-D) with positive (six items) and negative (three items) dimensions. The correlation coefficients of short and total versions of QOL-D were 0.892–0.918 for total scores, 0.903–0.936 for positive dimension scores, and 0.788–0.837 for negative dimension scores. Total short QOL-D scores showed a significant correlation to the Geriatric Depression Scale score and the apathy score of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory.
The short QOL-D produced results comparable with that of the full version. Reducing the number of items may make administration of the instrument easier.
Takaki M, Okahisa Y, Kodama M, Mizuki Y, Sakamoto S, Ujike H, Uchitomi Y. Efficacy and tolerability of blonanserin in 48 patients with intractable schizophrenia.
Background: Blonanserin is effective for the treatment of schizophrenia in Korea and Japan.
Methods: We administered blonanserin to 48 Japanese patients with schizophrenia for whom other atypical antipsychotics were not sufficiently effective or tolerated.
Results: Previous antipsychotics were replaced with blonanserin because of its effectiveness (54.2%; 26/48) or tolerability (45.8%; 22/48). Blonanserin was more effective in 65.4% (17/26) of the and better tolerated in 95.5% (21/22) of the patients. Of 48 patients, 33 continued blonanserin for 1 year. The mean Clinical Global Impression of Severity scores improved from 4.60 to 2.48. The mean Global Assessment of Functioning score improved from 29.8 to 51.7. Nineteen patients (39.6%; 19/48) had a social role. The reasons for discontinuation of blonanserin were ineffectiveness against psychosis (27.1%; 13/48) or intolerability (4.2%; 2/48). The ratio of discontinuation for intolerability versus ineffectiveness was 0.15, which was the lowest among atypical psychotics.
Conclusions: Blonanserin may be effective and safe for the treatment of intractable schizophrenia.
Depressive symptoms are common in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and increase the caregiver burden, although the etiology and pathologic mechanism of depressive symptoms in AD patients remain unclear. In this study, we tried to clarify the cerebral blood flow (CBF) correlates of subjective depressive symptoms in AD.
Seventy-six consecutive patients with AD were recruited from outpatient units of the Memory Clinic of Okayama University Hospital. Subjective depressive symptoms were evaluated using the short version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). All patients underwent brain SPECT with 99mTc-ethylcysteinate dimer, and the SPECT images were analyzed by the Statistical Parametric Mapping 8 program.
No significant differences between groups with high and low GDS scores were found with respect to age, sex, years of education, and revised Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination scores. Compared to patients with low scores on GDS, patients with high scores showed significant hypoperfusion in the left inferior frontal region.
The left inferior frontal region may be significantly involved in the pathogenesis of subjective depressive symptoms in AD. Subjective and objective depressive symptoms may have somewhat different neural substrates in AD.
The purposes of this study were to develop a communication skills training (CST) workshop program based on patient preferences, and to evaluate preliminary feasibility of the CST program on the objective performances of physicians and the subjective ratings of their confidence about the communication with patients at the pre- and post-CST.
The CST program was developed, based on the previous surveys on patient preferences (setting up the supporting environment of the interview, making consideration for how to deliver bad news, discussing about additional information, and provision of reassurance and emotional support) and addressing the patient's emotion with empathic responses, and stressing the oncologists' emotional support. The program was participants' centered approach, consisted a didactic lecture, role plays with simulated patients, discussions and an ice-breaking; a total of 2-days. To evaluate feasibility of the newly developed CST program, oncologists who participated it were assessed their communication performances (behaviors and utterances) during simulated consultation at the pre- and post-CST. Participants also rated their confidence communicating with patients at the pre-, post-, and 3-months after CST, burnout at pre and 3 months after CST, and the helpfulness of the program at post-CST.
Sixteen oncologists attended a newly developed CST. A comparison of pre-post measures showed improvement of oncologists' communication performances, especially skills of emotional support and consideration for how to deliver information. Their confidence in communicating bad news was rated higher score at post-CST than at pre-CST and was persisted at 3-months after the CST. Emotional exhaustion scores decreased at 3-months after CST. In addition, oncologists rated high satisfaction with all components of the program.
Significance of results:
This pilot study suggests that the newly developed CST program based on patient preferences seemed feasible and potentially effective on improving oncologists' communication behaviors what patients prefer and confidence in communicating with patients.
Background: Caregivers of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) already experience a need for increased services comparable to that of individuals caring for Alzheimer's disease patients. However, there have been only a few studies on the MCI caregiver burden. In this study, we examined MCI caregiver burden in a larger number of consecutive outpatients in Japan.
Methods: One hundred and four consecutive caregivers of people with MCI participated in this study. The caregiver burden was evaluated by the short version of the Japanese version of the Zarit Burden Interview (sZBI).
Results: About 20% of the caregivers reported a clinically significant burden. The multiple linear regression analysis showed that the caregiver burden was significantly associated with neurobehavioral symptoms (p < 0.001) and memory problems (p = 0.022) of the patient.
Conclusions: The caregiver burden of MCI patients should be given more attention. The management of neurobehavioral symptoms may be important to reduce the burden on caregivers of MCI patients.
Background: The frontal assessment battery (FAB) is reported to be a useful tool for assessing frontal dysfunction. However, the neural substrates involved in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) remain to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to identify the regional perfusion patterns of the brain associated with performance scores on the FAB of patients with AD using brain perfusion assessed by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
Methods: Twenty-four AD patients with high scores and 24 age- and sex-matched AD patients with low scores on the FAB were selected from 470 consecutive Japanese patients of the Memory Clinic of Okayama University Hospital. All 48 participants underwent brain SPECT with 99mTc-ethylcysteinate dimer, and the SPECT images were analyzed by statistical parametric mapping.
Results: No significant differences were found between high and low FAB scoring groups with respect to Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination scores, Mini-Mental State Examination scores, or the depression score of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory subscale. Compared with patients with high scores on the FAB, AD patients with low scores showed significant hypoperfusion in the left middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and the right superior frontal gyrus (SFG) extending to the left SFG.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that functional activity of the SFG and MFG is closely related to the FAB score. The FAB might be a promising strategy to detect early stages of AD with low SFG and MFG function.
Background: Early detection of dementia will be important for implementation of disease-modifying treatments in the near future. We aimed to investigate the diagnostic validity and reliability of the Japanese version of the revised Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-R J) for identifying mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia.
Methods: We translated and adapted the original ACE-R for use with a Japanese population. Standard tests for evaluating cognitive decline and dementing disorders were applied. A total of 242 subjects (controls = 73, MCI = 39, dementia = 130) participated in this study.
Results: The optimal cut-off scores of ACE-R J for detecting MCI and dementia were 88/89 (sensitivity 0.87, specificity 0.92) and 82/83 (sensitivity 0.99, specificity 0.99) respectively. ACE-R J was superior to the Mini-Mental State Examination in the detection of MCI (area under the curve (AUC): 0.952 vs. 0.868), while the accuracy of the two instruments did not differ significantly in identifying dementia (AUC: 0.999 vs. 0.993). The inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.999), test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.883), and internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.903) of ACE-R J were excellent.
Conclusion: ACE-R J proved to be an accurate cognitive instrument for detecting MCI and mild dementia. Further neuropsychological evaluation is required for the differential diagnosis of dementia subtypes.
Background: The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) has long been used to investigate deficits in executive function in humans. The majority of studies investigating deficient WCST performance focused on the number of categories achieved (CA) and the number of perseverative errors of the Nelson type (PEN). However, there is insufficient evidence that these two measures reflect the same neural deficits.
Methods: Twenty AD patients with high PEN scores, and 20 age- and sex-matched AD patients with low PEN scores were selected. All 40 subjects underwent brain SPECT, and the SPECT images were analyzed by Statistical Parametric Mapping.
Results: No significant differences were found between high and low PEN score groups with respect to years of education, Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination scores, and Mini-Mental State Examination scores. However, higher z scores for hypoperfusion in the bilateral rectal and orbital gyri were observed in the high PEN score group compared with the low PEN score group.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that functional activity of the bilateral rectal and orbital gyri is closely related to PEN scores on a modified WCST (mWCST). The PEN score on a mWCST might be a promising index of dysfunction of the orbitofrontal area among patients with mild AD.
Background: The Kana Pick-out Test (KPT), which was developed in Japan, is suitable for evaluating frontal lobe function and screening for mild dementia. However, the neural substrates involved remain to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to identify the regional perfusion patterns in the brain associated with performance scores on the KPT in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), using brain perfusion assessed by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
Methods: Twenty AD patients with high scores on the KPT and 20 age- and sex-matched AD patients with low scores were selected from 227 consecutive Japanese patients of the Memory Clinic of Okayama University Hospital. All 40 subjects underwent brain SPECT with 99mTc-ethylcysteinate dimer, and the SPECT images were analyzed by Statistical Parametric Mapping.
Results: With the exception of KPT scores, no significant differences were found between high and low scoring groups with respect to Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination scores, Mini-mental State Examination scores, or the depression score of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory subscale. Compared to patients with high scores on the KPT, AD patients with low scores on the KPT showed significant hypoperfusion in the left subgenual cingulate gyrus (SGC) extending to the right SGC.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that functional activity of the SGC is closely related to scores on the KPT. KPT might be a promising strategy to use in detecting early stages of AD with low SGC function.
The purpose of this study is to identify psychiatric disorders and stress factors experienced by staff members in cancer hospitals who were referred to psychiatric consultation service, and to investigate the association between psychiatric disorders and stress factors.
A retrospective descriptive study using clinical practice data on staff members referred to psychiatric consultation service, obtained for 8 years, was conducted at two National Cancer Center Hospitals in Japan. Psychiatric disorders were identified according to DSM-IV. Stress factors were extracted from a chief complaint at the initial visit in medical charts, using a coding approach, and grouped as job stress or personal stress. The frequencies of the stress factors were determined by two coders who were unaware of the categorized procedure. Fisher's exact test was used to determine the association between psychiatric disorders and stress factors.
Of 8077 psychiatric consultations, 65 (1%) staff members were referred. The most common psychiatric disorder was adjustment disorder (n = 26, 40%), followed by major depression (n = 17, 26%). Eight stress factors were identified from 76 meaning units and were grouped into five job stresses and three personal stresses. Of the five job stresses, four were most frequently experienced in adjustment disorders, and “failure to adapt to job environmental change” was significantly associated (p = 0.014). Two of the three personal stresses were most frequently experienced in psychiatric disorders other than major depressive disorder and adjustment disorders, and “suffering from mental disease” was significantly associated (p = 0.001).
Significance of results:
We found that very few staff members were provided with psychiatric consultation service. A comprehensive support system for job stress might be needed to prevent adjustment disorders, as those are suggested to be the most common psychiatric disorders among staff members in cancer hospitals.
The death of a person is a stressful event. Such stress affects the physical and psychological well-being of the bereaved. As an associated mental disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD) is common. Some dream of the deceased, and these dreams are called bereavement dreams. Some MDD patients also experience dreams. These two types of dreams are sometimes difficult to differentiate. The dream of the bereaved might be only a bereavement-related dream, yet it might be a symptom of MDD. Herein, we report one patient who had distressing dreams after the death of her mother.
A 63-year-old woman was referred for psychiatric consultation because of generalized fatigue and insomnia. Questioning her about recent events, she said that her mother had died of colonic carcinoma 5 months previously. Two months after the death, she suddenly started dreaming of her mother, getting angry with her almost every night. Generalized fatigue, insomnia, and distressing dreams appeared simultaneously. The dream caused much distress, making her afraid to fall asleep.
Her psychiatric features fulfilled the DSM-IV-TR criteria for MDD, single episode. The death of her mother was considered to be one of the causes of MDD. She was administered 25 mg/day of sertraline hydrochloride. After that, her symptoms gradually disappeared, and the frequency of distressing dreams was reduced. Five months later, physical and psychiatric symptoms of MDD were completely resolved. Subsequently, she has not suffered from any distressing dreams of her mother.
Significance of results:
This case indicates that dreams experienced after the death of a loved one should not be regarded simply as bereavement dreams. Some of the dreams may be symptoms of MDD. If the dreams are the symptoms of MDD, antidepressant treatment as well as psychotherapy may be useful. Therefore, we should avoid regarding symptoms of MDD as reactions to bereavement.