Dottoressa Serena Maruccia

Psychological distress in patients undergoing surgery for urological cancer: A single centre cross-sectional study



Interest in the disease-specific psychological well-being of patients with cancer has increased, and it has been estimated that less than half of all patients with cancer are properly identified and subsequently treated for anxiety or depression.

The aim of this study is to evaluate psychological distress in uro-oncological patients undergoing different surgeries: radical cystectomy, radical prostatectomy, radical nephrectomy, or transurethral resection (TUR) before the surgery.

Materials and methods

We performed a cross-sectional study in consecutively enrolled patients with bladder, kidney, or prostate cancer, scheduled for surgery. Demographic data, socioeconomic status, education level, and diagnoses were recorded. Patients with a previous diagnosis of depression or anxiety were excluded.

We evaluated the level of clinically meaningful depression and anxiety assessed by 2 tools: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS; score ≥8 presence of anxiety and depression; score ≥11 clinical anxiety and depression) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). To determine variables related to depression and anxiety among the demographic variables, logistic regression analyses were conducted, with PResults A total of 207 patients were recruited, completed the questionnaires and were included in the study. Patients presented a mean age of 70.8 (±10.8) years, 89% were males (n = 184) and 19% of patients presented previous cancer. The majority of patients underwent surgery for bladder tumors (60.4%) and the most common type of surgery was TUR. The most frequent procedures were performed for bladder tumors (60.4%), being TUR the most common type of surgery (52.7%) followed by radical prostatectomy (24.6%). Mean STAI-State score was 19.3 (±10.3), and mean STAI-Trait score was 18.4 (±11.9) points. Clinical levels of anxiety and depression (HADS ≥ 11 points) were found in 19 (9.8%) and 7 (3.6%) cases. And HADS anxiety 8 to 10 points was present in 14.5% (n = 28) and HADS depression 8 to 10 points in 5.7% (n = 11) of the sample, representing presence of psychological distress. Female patients showed a higher level of anxiety and STAI-Trait compared to males.


The present results show that our patients had lower levels of anxiety and depression than those described in the literature. Sex, tumor type, and surgical approach were significantly related to psychological distress in patients undergoing surgery for urological cancer. Females and patients with kidney tumor and patients undergoing radical nephrectomy presented higher levels of anxiety. Patients with radical cystectomy showed a higher level of STAI-State compared with other surgeries.


Pastore AL, Mir A, Maruccia S, Palleschi G, Carbone A, Lopez C, Camps N, Palou J.