IV Treatment Associated with Higher Anxiety Than Oral Therapy in CLL

By Cecilia Brown - September 10, 2023

Intravenous (IV) treatment was associated with higher anxiety scores than oral treatment in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to research presented during the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology.

Yıldız İpek, MD, of the Kartal Dr Lutfi Kirdar City Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, conducted the research because the “diagnosis and treatment of cancer can have significant physical and emotional impacts on patients.”

Dr. İpek aimed to evaluate the difference in anxiety levels between patients who received oral agents for CLL treatment and those who received IV chemotherapeutic agents. The study included 21 patients who were diagnosed with CLL within the last five years. All patients included in the study required treatment and had not previously received psychiatric treatment. The median patient age was 64.2 years and 62% of patients were male. Most patients were married and had completed primary or secondary education.

Patient treatment plans included oral agents such as ibrutinib, obinutuzumab plus venetoclax, and rituximab plus venetoclax, as well as IV chemotherapeutic agents. Nearly half (47.6%) of the patients received first-line therapy, while 52.4% had received previous treatment and relapsed.

Dr. İpek assessed anxiety levels using various scoring scales at the start of treatment.

“Anxiety was observed in all patients, with higher levels generally observed in women,” Dr. İpek wrote.

Patients who received IV treatment showed higher anxiety scores than patients who were receiving oral treatment. Furthermore, the group of patients that previously received treatment showed lower anxiety levels “possibly due to their prior experience,” according to Dr. İpek.

“The presence of moderate and high-grade anxiety in both groups highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, including psychiatry, in the comprehensive treatment of cancer,” Dr. İpek concluded. “The study suggests that addressing anxiety is crucial for both patients and their relatives throughout the long and challenging cancer treatment process.”


İpek, Y. Difference in anxiety between oral or intravenous treatment in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Abstract CLL-117. Presented at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology; September 6-9, 2023; Houston, Texas.

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