Author(s): Sampogna F, Frontani M, Baliva G, Lombardo GA, Alvetreti G
BACKGROUND: Cutaneous lymphomas may have a profound impact on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological well-being. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate HRQoL and psychological distress in patients with cutaneous lymphoma, and to evaluate them in relation to personal and clinical characteristics. METHODS: Patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma or cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (CBCL) were consecutively recruited in a dermatological hospital. Data on HRQoL were collected using a dermatology-specific questionnaire, the Skindex-29, and an oncology-specific questionnaire, the EORTC QLQ-C30. RESULTS: Of 95 patients, there were 24 with CBCL, 59 with mycosis fungoides (MF) and 12 with Sézary syndrome (SS). The most frequent items reported in Skindex-29 were itching and sensitive skin, being annoyed by the disease, worry that it could get worse, affected interactions, and impairment in sexual life. The most frequent problems appearing from the EORTC QLQ-C30 analysis were fatigue, pain and insomnia. A worse HRQoL was observed for all the scales in patients with SS, followed by MF, and CBCL. HRQoL impairment in all histotypes was higher in women than in men, in patients with probable anxiety or depression, and when the disease worsened. The highest prevalence of probable anxiety or depression was observed in patients treated with systemic steroids (60%) and interferon (50%). CONCLUSIONS: The detailed evaluation of HRQoL and psychological problems in patients with cutaneous lymphomas, and their relationship with clinical variables, may give important information on the burden of the disease for patients, and thus improve communication and satisfaction with care.