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The stigma associated with cancer has negative impacts on cancer patients as well as the general public, who have a potential risk of cancer. To the best of our knowledge, a validated measure to assess cancer stigma among the general Japanese population does not exist.
We translated the Cancer Stigma Scale (CASS) — a 25-item self-administered scale to evaluate stigma related to cancer — into Japanese and examined its psychometric properties. The Japanese version of CASS (J-CASS) was validated among a sample of the general Japanese population through an online survey to validate its test–retest reliability, internal consistency, and concurrent validity.
A total of 319 responses were included in the analysis. An exploratory factor analysis eliminated two original items but showed a six-factor model (Awkwardness, Severity, Avoidance, Policy Opposition, Personal Responsibility, and Financial Discrimination), which was similar to the original scale. Cronbach's alpha for each factor was satisfactory, ranging from 0.81 to 0.91. The internal correlation coefficients were above 0.70, except for Policy Opposition. The total and subtotal scores of each factor of the J-CASS were significantly associated with respondents’ age, gender, familiarity with cancer patients, and social desirability, demonstrating the scales’ good concurrent validity. A substantial proportion of the participants selected “unsure” for some items of the scale, suggesting a further need for refining the scale.
Significance of results
This study demonstrated that J-CASS is a reliable and valid measure for evaluating misconceptions and stigma toward cancer in the general Japanese population.
Wearable devices such as a wrist actigraph may have a potential to objectively estimate patients’ functioning and may supplement performance status (PS). This proof-of-concept study aimed to evaluate whether actigraphy data are significantly associated with patients’ functioning and are predictive of their survival in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
We collected actigraphy data for a three-day period in ambulatory patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. We computed correlations between actigraphy data (specifically, proportion of time spent immobile while awake) and clinician-rated PS, subjective report of physical activities, quality of life (the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Trial Outcome Index), and survival.
Actigraphy data (the proportion of time awake spent immobile) were significantly correlated with Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Trial Outcome Index (r = −0.53, p < 0.001) and with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS (ECOG PS) (r = 0.37, p < 0.001). The proportion of time awake spent immobile was significantly associated with worse survival. For each 10% increase in this measure, the hazard ratio (HR) was 1.48 (95% confidence interval [CI95%] = 1.06, 2.06) for overall mortality, and odds ratio was 2.99 (CI95% = 1.27, 7.05) for six-month mortality. ECOG PS was also associated with worse survival (HR = 2.80, CI95% = 1.34, 5.86). Among patients with ECOG PS 0-1, the percentage of time awake spent immobile was significantly associated with worse survival, HR = 1.93 (CI95% = 1.10, 3.42), whereas ECOG PS did not predict survival.
Significance of Results
Actigraphy may have potential to predict important clinical outcomes, such as quality of life and survival, and may serve to supplement PS. Further validation study is warranted.
Child maltreatment is a major risk factor for psychopathology, including reactive attachment disorder (RAD).
To examine whether neural activity during reward processing was altered in children and adolescents with RAD.
Sixteen children and adolescents with RAD and 20 typically developing (TD) individuals performed tasks with high and low monetary rewards while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Significantly reduced activity in the caudate and nucleus accumbens was observed during the high monetary reward condition in the RAD group compared with the TD group (P=0.015, family-wise error-corrected cluster level). Significant negative correlations between bilateral striatal activity and avoidant attachment were observed in the RAD and TD groups.
Striatal neural reward activity in the RAD group was markedly decreased. The present results suggest that dopaminergic dysfunction occurs in the striatum of children and adolescents with RAD, leading towards potential future risks for psychopathology.
Physical and psychological symptoms in cancer patients are frequently overlooked by medical staff. However, little is known regarding the potential impacts of concurrent physical and psychological symptoms on the overlooking of other symptoms. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of concurrent symptoms on the overlooking of other symptoms in cancer inpatients.
A total of 255 cancer inpatients in the general wards of one university hospital, who were referred to the palliative care team, were included. On the day of referral, nurses and patients were independently assessed for the presence of the following eight symptoms: pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, lack of appetite, dry mouth, sleep problems, and distressed feelings. The presence of delirium was also separately assessed by nurses and psychiatrists on the team. A total of nine symptoms detected by nurses and those reported by patients or psychiatrists were compared, and logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the variables associated with the overlooking of these symptoms.
The most frequently reported symptom was pain (76.5%), followed by distressed feelings (49.8%), sleep problems (34.1%), and delirium (25.1%). The proportion of those overlooked was more than one quarter (25.0–63.6%) for all symptoms except pain (12.8%). Significant associations were found between the overlooking of shortness of breath and concurrent delirium (odds ratio [OR] = 110.9); the overlooking of sleep problems and concurrent lack of appetite (OR = 9.1); and the overlooking of distressed feelings and concurrent dry mouth (OR = 27.7). No patient demographic characteristic was associated with the overlooking of any other symptoms.
Significance of results:
The presence of some specific concurrent symptoms is likely to lead to the overlooking of other symptoms in cancer inpatients by nurses. Comprehensive assessments of physical and psychological symptoms in daily clinical practice are needed.
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