Searchable abstracts of presentations at key conferences in endocrinology
Endocrine Abstracts (2016) 46 P34 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.46.P34

UKINETS2016 Poster Presentations (1) (35 abstracts)

An exploration of psychological symptoms in vasoactive hormone-secreting neuroendocrine tumours (carcinoid syndrome)

Elizabeth Friend 1,

1North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basingstoke, Berkshire, UK; 2King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; 3University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Introduction: Psychological symptoms such as aggression, confusion, irritation, anxiety and depression have been observed clinically in patients with carcinoid syndrome. It has been suggested that vasoactive-hormone secretion are involved in provoking psychological symptoms. The objective of this qualitative study is to explore the presence and experience of specific psychological symptoms in vasoactive hormone-secreting NET (carcinoid syndrome).

Methods: Nine patients with mid gut NET with carcinoid syndrome with psychological issues currently or in the past one year from two NET specialist centres were recruited. They participated in in-depth qualitative interviews focusing on the previous and current experience of physical and psychological symptoms.

Results: Patients experienced various psychological symptoms, including anxiety, agitation and irritability and occasional low mood, mood swings, and mild aggressive tendency. The unpredictable nature of physical distress from physical symptoms resulted in psychological symptoms. Although many patients had anxiety from cancer-related issues, there was a close link between anxiety and flushing in a minority. Positive mood and being socially active alleviated a low mood but had little influence on irritability, agitation and anxiety-induced flushing.

Conclusion: Cancer-related issues, the impact of physical symptoms, external issues and vasoactive-hormones are all implicated in producing psychological symptoms in carcinoid syndrome. Psychological symptoms affect all aspects of daily life. By clinicians becoming more aware of the issues and by identifying contributing factors, patients at risk can be more closely monitored and psychological support be provided.

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