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Higuchi Y.,Okayama University of Science | Inagaki M.,Okayama University | Koyama T.,Okayama University of Science | Kitamura Y.,Okayama University of Science | And 4 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2016

Background: Opportunities for face-to-face communication with patients is increasing in modern hospital pharmacist practice. This may impose new burdens on hospital pharmacists. We performed a cross-sectional study to examine the prevalence of psychological distress, burnout, and compassion fatigue among hospital pharmacists. We also investigated possible relevant factors, such as sex, years of experience, hospital size, interpersonal work hours, and personality traits related to communication. Methods: We mailed self-administered questionnaires to all pharmacists (n = 823) belonging to the prefectural society of hospital pharmacists in Japan. The questionnaires were the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Burnout (BO) and Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress (CF/STS) subscales of the Professional Quality of Life Scale, the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), and the Adult ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) Self-Report Scale (ASRS). We examined associations between personality traits (AQ, ASRS) and psychological burden (GHQ-12, BO, CF/STS) using rank ANCOVA or multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results: Complete responses were obtained from 380 pharmacists (46.2 % response rate). A substantial number of participants obtained scores that were higher than the cutoff points of the GHQ-12 (54.7 %), BO (49.2 %), and CF/STS (29.2 %). The GHQ-12 scores were negatively affected by years of experience (p < 0.001), and positively affected by AQ (p < 0.001) and ASRS (p < 0.001) scores. The BO scores was positively affected by AQ (p < 0.001) and ASRS (p = 0.001) scores, while the CF/STS (p = 0.023) score was negatively affected by years of experience, and positively affected by AQ (p < 0.001) and ASRS (p < 0.001) scores. Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of psychological distress and work-related burnout/CF among hospital pharmacists. Additionally, two common personality traits, such as autistic-like traits and ADHD-like symptoms, which might be related to communication style, could increase the risk of psychological distress and burnout/CF. Early risk assessment and preventive interventions that are specialized for these characteristics could protect individuals with these specific traits from burnout. © 2016 The Author(s).


Ishida M.,International University of Japan | Onishi H.,International University of Japan | Toyama H.,International University of Japan | Tsutsumi C.,International University of Japan | And 4 more authors.
Palliative & supportive care | Year: 2015

OBJECTIVE: 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.METHOD: 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.RESULTS: 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.


Higuchi Y.,Okayama University of Science | Uchitomi Y.,Innovation Center for Supportive | Fujimori M.,National Institute of Mental Health | Koyama T.,Okayama University of Science | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy | Year: 2015

Background Pharmacists are expected to play a key role in modern cancer care. Research suggests that an empathic approach and attitude in medical staff improves the quality of patient care. An empathic attitude and psychological distress are thought to be associated with autistic-like traits, but little is known about such traits. Objective In this study, we aimed to clarify the associations among autistic-like traits, empathic attitude in a medical context, and psychological health in hospital pharmacists. Setting Eligibility criteria for inclusion were certified pharmacists working at hospitals for patient care who returned their questionnaires. Method Eight hundred and twenty-three hospital pharmacists completed a number of self-administered questionnaires anonymously by mail. Main outcome measures Scores were obtained on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy, the General Health Questionnaire-12, and subscales of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Perspective Taking, IRI-Empathic Concern, IRIPersonal Distress). We performed correlation and mediation analyses to confirm that the empathy and general health questionnaires were associated with autism-spectrum quotient scores, and with each IRI subscale. Results Complete responses were obtained from 379 pharmacists comprising 151 males (39.8 %) with a mean age of 37.7 ± 10.8 years (missing data, n = 13) and a median of 11 years after qualification as a pharmacist. Autism-Spectrum Quotient scores were inversely correlated with empathy (r = −0.22, p < 0.001) and positively correlated with general health scores (r = 0.40, p < 0.001). In the models with mediation, the inverse correlation between autism-spectrum quotient and empathy scores was mediated indirectly by IRI-Perspective Taking and IRI-Empathic Concern, and the positive correlation between autism-spectrum quotient and general health was mediated indirectly by IRI-Personal Distress. There were also direct effects, with significant effects of autism-spectrum quotient on empathy and general health scores. Conclusion Our findings suggest that autistic-like traits affect both empathic attitude in a medical context and the psychological health of pharmacists. We recommend that to improve empathy in those with high levels of autistic-like traits, we may need to develop specialized interventions, such as improving communication skills training. © 2015, Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie.


Umezawa S.,Tokyo Medical and Dental University | Umezawa S.,National Cancer Center Hospital East | Fujimori M.,National Cancer Center Hospital East | Fujimori M.,National Institute of Mental Health | And 5 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND The objective of this study was to clarify the communication preferences of patients with advanced cancer regarding discussions about ending anticancer treatment and transitioning to palliative care and to explore the variables associated with those preferences. METHODS Participants were 106 Japanese patients with cancer who had been informed at least 1 week earlier about the cessation of their anticancer treatment. They completed a survey measuring their preferences for communication about ending anticancer treatment and transitioning to palliative care as well as their demographic characteristics. Medical records were also examined to investigate medical characteristics. RESULTS Results of the descriptive analysis indicated that patients strongly preferred their physicians to listen to their distress and concerns (96%), to assure them that their painful symptoms would be controlled (97.1%), and to explain the status of their illness and the physical symptoms that would likely occur in the future (95.1%). Multiple regression analyses identified the factors associated with these preferences: telling patients to prepare mentally and informing them of their expected life expectancy were associated with cancer site; sustaining hope was associated with cancer site and children; and empathic paternalism was associated with duration since cancer diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS The majority of patients preferred their physicians to be realistic about their likely future and wanted to be reassured that their painful symptoms would be controlled. For patients with cancer at certain sites, those with children, and those more recently diagnosed, physicians should communicate carefully and actively by providing information on life expectancy and mental preparation, sustaining hope, and behaving with empathic paternalism. © 2015 American Cancer Society.


Fujisawa D.,Keio University | Fujisawa D.,National Cancer Center | Inoguchi H.,National Cancer Center | Shimoda H.,National Institute of Mental Health | And 9 more authors.
Psycho-Oncology | Year: 2016

Objective The quality-adjusted life year, which is usually calculated from the health utility value, is now a standard measurement used in political decision-making in health. Although depression is the leading cause of decrement in health utility in general population, impact of comorbid depression among cancer patients has not been studied sufficiently. Therefore, this study aimed to measure the impact of depression on cancer patients' health utility score, according to the severity of depression. Methods Impact of depression severity (measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire) on health utility score (measured by the EuroQoL-5 scale) was evaluated in a sample of 328 Japanese cancer patients, controlling for performance status, symptom burden, and demographic variables. Results The patients with depression had significantly lower health utility value than those without depression (mean decrement = 0.14). Decrements in health utility of 0.13, 0.18, and 0.19 were observed for mild, moderate, and moderately severe to severe level of depression, respectively. The difference was significant between groups. Depression severity was a significant predictor for health utility (standardized coefficient beta = -0.25), which was comparable with physical symptom burden and performance status. Participants' age, gender, cancer stage, and comorbid illness were not significant. The model explained 37.9% of the variance. Conclusions Even mild level of depression caused clinically meaningful decrement in health utility value in cancer patients, which was comparable with decrements due to major physical complications of cancer. Influence of depression should be carefully investigated when interpreting the quality-adjusted life year among cancer patients. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


PubMed | Tokyo Electron, National Cancer Center Hospital East, National Cancer Center Hospital, University of Tokyo and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of pain and symptom management | Year: 2015

There is controversy around the association between depressive symptoms and age in adult cancer patients.The aim of this study was to evaluate the following hypotheses: 1) cancer patients depressive symptoms decrease with age, and 2) in individuals aged 65 years or older, depressive symptoms increase because of the effect of somatic symptoms.We retrospectively analyzed a database of 356 cancer patients who were consecutively recruited in a previous multicenter cross-sectional study. Depressive symptoms were assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and correlations with age and other factors were assessed by hierarchical multivariate regression analysis. Age was entered as the dependent variable in the first step, patient characteristics and cancer-related variables were entered in the second step, and somatic symptoms were entered in the last step. We analyzed this model for both the total sample and the subpopulation aged 65 years or older.In the total sample, the PHQ-9 score was significantly associated with lower age, fatigue, and shortness of breath (adjusted R(2) 14.2%). In the subpopulation aged 65 years or older, no factor was associated with the PHQ-9 score (adjusted R(2) 7.3%).The finding that depressive symptoms in cancer patients decreased with age was concordant with our first hypothesis, but the second hypothesis was not supported. Younger cancer patients were vulnerable to depressive symptoms and should be monitored carefully. Further studies using more representative samples are needed to examine in detail the association between depressive symptoms and age in older cancer patients.


PubMed | International University of Japan and Innovation Center for Supportive
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Palliative & supportive care | Year: 2015

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.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.


PubMed | Okayama University of Science, National Institute of Mental Health, Innovation Center for Supportive and Okayama University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of clinical pharmacy | Year: 2015

Pharmacists are expected to play a key role in modern cancer care. Research suggests that an empathic approach and attitude in medical staff improves the quality of patient care. An empathic attitude and psychological distress are thought to be associated with autistic-like traits, but little is known about such traits.In this study, we aimed to clarify the associations among autistic-like traits, empathic attitude in a medical context, and psychological health in hospital pharmacists.Eligibility criteria for inclusion were certified pharmacists working at hospitals for patient care who returned their questionnaires.Eight hundred and twenty-three hospital pharmacists completed a number of self-administered questionnaires anonymously by mail.Scores were obtained on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy, the General Health Questionnaire-12, and subscales of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Perspective Taking, IRI-Empathic Concern, IRIPersonal Distress). We performed correlation and mediation analyses to confirm that the empathy and general health questionnaires were associated with autism-spectrum quotient scores, and with each IRI subscale.Complete responses were obtained from 379 pharmacists comprising 151 males (39.8 %) with a mean age of 37.7 10.8 years (missing data, n = 13) and a median of 11 years after qualification as a pharmacist. Autism-Spectrum Quotient scores were inversely correlated with empathy (r = -0.22, p < 0.001) and positively correlated with general health scores (r = 0.40, p < 0.001). In the models with mediation, the inverse correlation between autism-spectrum quotient and empathy scores was mediated indirectly by IRI-Perspective Taking and IRI-Empathic Concern, and the positive correlation between autism-spectrum quotient and general health was mediated indirectly by IRI-Personal Distress. There were also direct effects, with significant effects of autism-spectrum quotient on empathy and general health scores.Our findings suggest that autistic-like traits affect both empathic attitude in a medical context and the psychological health of pharmacists. We recommend that to improve empathy in those with high levels of autistic-like traits, we may need to develop specialized interventions, such as improving communication skills training.


PubMed | National Institute of Mental Health, National Cancer Center, University of Tokyo, Keio University and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Psycho-oncology | Year: 2016

The quality-adjusted life year, which is usually calculated from the health utility value, is now a standard measurement used in political decision-making in health. Although depression is the leading cause of decrement in health utility in general population, impact of comorbid depression among cancer patients has not been studied sufficiently. Therefore, this study aimed to measure the impact of depression on cancer patients health utility score, according to the severity of depression.Impact of depression severity (measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire) on health utility score (measured by the EuroQoL-5 scale) was evaluated in a sample of 328 Japanese cancer patients, controlling for performance status, symptom burden, and demographic variables.The patients with depression had significantly lower health utility value than those without depression (mean decrement=0.14). Decrements in health utility of 0.13, 0.18, and 0.19 were observed for mild, moderate, and moderately severe to severe level of depression, respectively. The difference was significant between groups. Depression severity was a significant predictor for health utility (standardized coefficient beta=-0.25), which was comparable with physical symptom burden and performance status. Participants age, gender, cancer stage, and comorbid illness were not significant. The model explained 37.9% of the variance.Even mild level of depression caused clinically meaningful decrement in health utility value in cancer patients, which was comparable with decrements due to major physical complications of cancer. Influence of depression should be carefully investigated when interpreting the quality-adjusted life year among cancer patients. Copyright 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


PubMed | National Cancer Center Hospital, Chiba Cancer Center, National Health Research Institute, Nagoya City University and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Japanese journal of clinical oncology | Year: 2015

It is known that depression and anxiety occur more frequently in pancreatic cancer patients than in those with other malignancies. However, few studies have assessed depression and anxiety using reliable psychiatric diagnostic tools. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of depression and anxiety among pancreatic cancer patients before and 1 month after the start of anticancer treatment using reliable psychiatric diagnostic tools, and to identify factors that predict their occurrence.Pancreatic cancer patients were consecutively recruited. Structured clinical interviews were used to determine the presence of affective disorders, anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders. Baseline interviews were performed prior to initiation of anticancer treatment, while follow-up interviews were performed 1 month after treatment was started. Medical, demographic and psychosocial backgrounds were also assessed as predictive factors.One hundred and ten patients participated in the baseline interview and 91 in the follow-up interview. Depression and anxiety were observed in 15 patients (13.6%) at the baseline, and 15 patients (16.5%) at the follow-up. Lack of confidants was associated with depression and anxiety at the baseline. At the baseline, sadness, lower Karnofsky Performance Status and prior experience with the death of a family member due to cancer predicted newly diagnosed depression and anxiety at the follow-up.A considerable percentage of pancreatic cancer patients experienced depression and anxiety. Multidimensional psychosocial predictive factors were found and optimal psychological care should incorporate early detection of sadness.

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