There is a lack of population-based data describing patient reported outcomes (PROs) in melanoma survivors which could guide the development of interventions and resources. This study assessed overall quality of life (QoL), self-reported symptoms and unmet information needs in melanoma survivors 1, 3 or 5 years post-diagnosis.
A cross-sectional postal survey was conducted in Victoria, Australia, with eligible melanoma survivors identified from a population-based cancer registry. Patient-reported outcome measures included the EuroQoL 5-Dimension 5-Level (EQ-5D-5L), and self-reported symptoms, difficulties and information needs. Associations between demographic, disease and care-related factors and QoL were also assessed.
A total of 476 melanoma survivors participated in the study (response rate 46.5%). Anxiety and depressive symptoms were more prevalent in survivors compared to the general population (30.7% vs 21.6%; p < 0.01). Fear of cancer recurrence (48.3%) and fear of cancer spreading (37.8%) were the most commonly reported symptom items, and approximately one in five melanoma survivors had unmet information needs related to psychological aspects of living with melanoma. Recurrent melanoma, living in a nursing home, chronic comorbidities, and melanoma diagnosed at > 2 mm thickness were associated with lower QoL.
A large proportion of melanoma survivors reported ongoing quality of life deficits, fear of cancer recurrence, as well as unmet information needs up to 5 years after diagnosis. Patients may benefit from tailored informational resources and interventions that address the psychological aspects of living with and beyond melanoma.