Unmet mental health needs in patients with advanced B-cell lymphomas

Chrystal Marte, Login S. George, Sarah C. Rutherford, Daniel Jie Ouyang, Peter Martin, John P. Leonard, Kelly M. Trevino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context Existing research on psychological distress and mental health service utilization has focused on common types of solid tumor cancers, leaving significant gaps in our understanding of patients experiencing rare forms of hematologic cancers. Objective To examine distress, quality of life, and mental health service utilization among patients with aggressive, refractory B-cell lymphomas. Method Patients (n = 26) with B-cell lymphomas that relapsed after first- or second-line treatment completed self-report measures of distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and quality of life (Short-Form Health Survey, SF-12). Patients also reported whether they had utilized mental health treatment since their cancer diagnosis. Results Approximately 42% (n = 11) of patients reported elevated levels of psychological distress. Of patients with elevated distress, only one quarter (27.2%; n = 3) received mental health treatment, while more than half did not receive mental health treatment (54.5%; n = 6), and 18.1% (n = 2) did not want treatment. Patients with elevated distress reported lower mental quality of life than patients without elevated distress [F (1, 25) = 15.32, p = 0.001]. Significance of the results A significant proportion of patients with advanced, progressive, B-cell lymphomas may experience elevated levels of distress. Yet, few of these distressed patients receive mental health treatment. Findings highlight the need to better identify and address barriers to mental health service utilization among patients with B-cell lymphoma, including among distressed patients who decline treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • B-cell lymphoma
  • Distress
  • Mental health treatment utilization
  • Quality of life


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