Background/Objectives: For the currently recommended pancreatic cyst surveillance to be feasible, participant adherence is a prerequisite. Our objective was to evaluate the psychological burden of pancreatic cyst surveillance from a participant’s perspective.
Methods: The present participant survey is part of an international cohort study (PACYFIC study, www.pacyfic.net), which prospectively records the outcome of surveillance of asymptomatic pancreatic cysts. Participants are invited to complete questionnaires before and during cyst surveillance.
Results: 109 participants, 31 enrolled before and 78 during surveillance (median time since cyst diagnosis 16.5 (IQR 36) months), returned a total of 179 questionnaires. The majority indicated that surveillance reduces concerns of developing pancreatic cancer (82%), gives a sense of certainty (81%) and is a good method to detect cancer (91%). Participants already undergoing surveillance reported more negative aspects than those still to commence, like sleeping worse (30% vs 13%, P = 0.035), postponing plans (32% vs 13%, P = 0.031), and finding the follow-up burdensome (33% vs 13%, P = 0.044). Overall, the vast majority (94%) deemed advantages to outweigh disadvantages. Anxiety and depression scores were low (median Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale 4 for anxiety (IQR 6), 2 for depression (IQR 5)).
Conclusions: The psychological burden of pancreatic cyst surveillance is low. Therefore, participant adherence is expected to be high and annual surveillance seems feasible.