Psychological Burden in Meningioma Patients under a Wait-and-Watch Strategy and after Complete Resection Is High—Results of a Prospective Single Center Study
Department of Neurosurgery, University Medical Centre, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Tübingen, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Straße 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Department of Neurology & Interdisciplinary Neuro-Oncology, University Hospital Tübingen, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Otfried-Müller-Straße 27, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3503; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123503
Received: 12 October 2020 / Revised: 20 November 2020 / Accepted: 23 November 2020 / Published: 25 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meningiomas and Low Grade Gliomas)
Asymptomatic meningiomas are found in 1–2% of cranial MRIs. Most of them demonstrate no or minimal growth and are observed with follow-up imaging. However, the patients face a diagnosis of a brain tumor. So far, there is no established distress screening for such patients. In this study, we evaluated the psychological burden of patients with small asymptomatic meningiomas and compared it with patients after complete meningioma resection and excellent postoperative outcome. We found a high prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms in both study groups. This demonstrates that even patients with benign asymptomatic intracranial tumors might be under significant distress and need psychooncological support.
The diagnosis of intracranial meningiomas as incidental findings is increasing by growing availability of MRI diagnostics. However, the psychological distress of patients with incidental meningiomas under a wait-and-watch strategy is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to compare the psychosocial situation of meningioma patients under wait-and-watch to patients after complete resection to bridge this gap. The inclusion criteria for the prospective monocenter study were either an incidental meningioma under a wait-and-watch strategy or no neurologic deficits after complete resection. Sociodemographic, clinical, and health-related quality of life and clinical data were assessed. Psychosocial factors were measured by the Distress Thermometer (DT), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), and the Short Form (SF-36). A total of 62 patients were included (n = 51 female, mean age 61 (SD 13) years). According to HADS, the prevalence of anxiety was 45% in the postoperative and 42% in the wait-and-watch group (p = 0.60), and depression was 61% and 87%, respectively (p = 0.005). In total, 43% of patients under wait-and-watch and 37% of patients in the postoperative group scored ≥6 on the DT scale. SF-36 scores were similar in all categories except general health (p = 0.005) and physical component aggregate score (43.7 (13.6) vs. 50.5 (9.5), (p = 0.03), both lower in the wait-and-watch group. Multivariate analysis revealed the wait-and-watch strategy was associated with a 4.26-fold higher risk of a pathological depression score based on HADS (p = 0.03). This study demonstrates a high prevalence of psychological distress in meningioma patients. Further evaluation is necessary to identify the patients in need of psychooncological support.