Distress, anxiety, depression and unmet needs in thyroid cancer survivors: a longitudinal study

Margherita Dionisi-Vici, Marta Fantoni, Rossana Botto, Alice Nervo, Francesco Felicetti, Ruth Rossetto, Marco Gallo, Emanuela Arvat, Riccardo Torta, Paolo Leombruni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Despite a good prognosis, thyroid cancer (TC) survivors often report psychological distress and decreased quality of life. This longitudinal study aims to evaluate TC survivors’ levels of distress, anxiety, depression and unmet needs, checking potential life events. Methods: Distress Thermometer, Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale, Supportive Care Need Survey (short form) and Interview for Recent Life Events were administered to 73 TC survivors (T0) and 44 of them were re-tested one year later (T1). Participants were at 0–5, 5–10 or >10 years from the end of their cancer-related treatments. Results: At T0, distress, anxiety and depression mean scores were 6.4, 6.8 and 5.3, while at T1 they were 5.5, 4.8 and 5.1. Only anxiety scores decreased significantly between T0 and T1. 50.7% of patients had unmet psychological needs at T0 and 50.0% at T1. Most participants were satisfied in the communicative/ informative (T0:79.5%; T1: 77.3%) and social/health care areas (T0:74.0%; T1:75.0%). The most experienced stressful events detected concerned their working areas. Conclusions: Results confirmed that patients reported distress, anxiety and depression concerns even many years after the end of treatments. Both medical and psychological surveillance are relevant to improving TC survivors’ wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-610
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Long-term survivors
  • Longitudinal
  • Psychological distress
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Unmet needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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