Objective: To investigate the relevance of the Symptom Checklist 90-R Obsessive-Compulsive subscale to cognition in individuals with brain tumor.
Design: A prospective study of patients assessed with a neuropsychological test battery.
Setting: A university medical center.
Patients: Nineteen adults with biopsy-confirmed diagnoses of malignant brain tumors were assessed prior to aggressive chemotherapy.
Main outcome measures: Included in the assessment were the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale, California Verbal Learning Test, Trail Making Test B, Symptom Checklist 90-R, Mood Assessment Scale, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Chronic Illness Problem Inventory.
Results: The SCL 90-R Obsessive-Compulsive subscale was not related to objective measures of attention, verbal memory, or age. It was related significantly to symptoms of depression (r = .81, P < .005), anxiety (r = .66, P < .005), and subjective complaints of memory problems (r = .75, P < .005). Multivariate analyses indicated that reported symptoms of depression contributed 66% of the variance in predicting SCL 90-R Obsessive-Compulsive Scores, whereas symptoms of anxiety contributed an additional 6% (P < .0001).
Conclusions: Our data suggest that the SCL 90-R is best viewed as an indicator of unidimensional emotional distress and somatic effects of structural brain injury.