Scott M. Gilbert, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, said, "Prior studies have suggested that poor baseline mental health can lead to more significant postoperative complications possibly due to impaired immune response associated with higher levels of stress. This may delay both wound healing and the ability to fight infection in the postoperative state, for example. Although self-appraisal of overall well-being may mediate physiologic responses to surgery, patient-reported health status has not been extensively studied among bladder cancer patients to date, and its utility in predicting postoperative outcomes, such as complications, has not been previously examined."
Using a quality of life survey, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-12), patients appraised their own health and quantified the effects of disease and treatment on their overall well-being. The SF-12 is a standardized, validated questionnaire that measures composite scores for physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) components of health.
Dr. Gilbert said, "Recognition of poor preoperative mental health may represent a potential signal warranting more proactive recognition and assessment preoperatively."