Mental health status prior to bladder cancer surgery may be associated with postoperative outcomes, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology.1

“Prior studies have suggested that poor baseline mental health can lead to more significant postoperative complications possibly due to impaired immune response associated with higher levels of stress,” Scott M. Gilbert, MD, MS, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, said. “This may delay both wound healing and the ability to fight infection in the postoperative state, for example.”

“Although self-appraisal of overall well-being may mediate physiologic responses to surgery, patient-reported health status has not been extensively studied among bladder cancer patients to date, and its utility in predicting postoperative outcomes, such as complications, has not been previously examined.”

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Therefore, researchers surveyed 274 patients with bladder cancer who had undergone radical cystectomy using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-12) to assess quality of life.

Results showed that mental health scores were significantly lower in patients who had a high grade 30-day complication rate (44.8 vs 49.8; P=.004); however, researchers found that physical health scores were similar whether or not patients had a high grade 30-day complication rate (39.2 vs 43.8; P=.06).

“Recognition of poor preoperative mental health may represent a potential signal warranting more proactive recognition and assessment preoperatively,” Gilbert noted.


1. Mental health status prior to bladder cancer surgery can indicate risk of complications [news release]. EurekAlert! web site. Posted December 17, 2015. Accessed December 18, 2015.