Background. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) represent 1% of all gastrointestinal tumors and are included in the list of rare diseases.
Objective. 1. to evaluate levels of psychological distress, fatigue, and quality of life. 2. To identify the variables that most influence distress among Mexican patients with GIST.
Design. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a consecutive sample of 100 patients with GIST, who completed the following questionnaires online: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) as a measure of distress, Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI), and Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ C30).
Results. Distress was present in 31% of patients. No association was found between distress and sociodemographic/clinical variables. The patients with distress demonstrated higher scores in all fatigue dimensions and, regarding quality of life, had more symptoms and were lower functioning. Distress was positively associated with all fatigue dimensions and with QLQ C30 symptoms. Negative associations were found between distress and QLQ C30 functioning dimensions. The predictors of psychological distress were general fatigue, reduced motivation, and emotional functioning.
Conclusion. The percentage of patients with distress was akin to the levels found in patients with the most common types of cancer. Fatigue in patients with GIST should be evaluated and managed to improve distress levels.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)/ distress/ fatigue / quality of life/ cancer