J Neurooncol. 2022 Aug 4. doi: 10.1007/s11060-022-04104-6. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Neurofibromatosis (NF) is an incurable genetic neurological condition. Psychosocial interventions that promote resiliency are a promising approach to address the high emotional distress and low quality of life (QoL) associated with NF. However, no studies have examined the psychosocial needs of treatment-seeking adults with NF. Our goal was to explore, using data from the largest efficacy trial of a psychosocial intervention for NF, differences in QoL, emotional distress, resiliency, and pain-related outcomes compared to other chronic medical populations and within subtypes (NF1, NF2, schwannomatosis; SCHW).
METHODS: Enrolled participants (N = 228) were geographically diverse adults with NF and elevated stress. We performed secondary analysis on baseline measures of QoL, emotional distress, resiliency, and pain-related outcomes. We reported descriptive statistics and normative comparisons to understand the psychosocial characteristics of the overall sample and performed between-group analyses to explore differences within NF type.
RESULTS: Our sample endorsed worse QoL, emotional distress, resilience, and pain-related outcomes than similar chronic illness populations. Within NF types, participants with NF1 reported lower QoL and resilience compared to those with NF2. Participants with SCHW reported higher pain intensity than those with NF1. Participants with SCHW reported higher pain interference and lower physical QoL compared to those with NF1 and NF2.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the urgent need for psychosocial interventions targeting deficits in QoL, emotional distress, resilience, and pain-related outcomes in adults with NF. We recommend efforts to enhance sample diversity, prepare clinicians to provide high-levels of support, and attune skills training to each NF type.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03406208; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03406208 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/72ZoTDQ6h ).