The Psychosocial Research of the Members in a Large Von Hippel-Lindau Family in China


Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is a rare, autosomal inherited tumor disorder caused by mutations or deletions of the VHL gene. Most of the previous research focused on the clinical features and molecular mechanisms of the disease, few concerned about the psychosocial impact on the patients and their family. We encountered a VHL family in the clinical work and attempted to assess the possible psychological effects of the disease on the members of the family. Three questionnaires including Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and Revised Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-R) were used in the research. A total of 61 members participated in the investigation. The SAS and SDS tests showed that 13 members were affected by anxiety which was associated with age, and 19 members suffered from depression which was correlated with gender, marital status, age, being patients, occupation, education and close relative of the VHL patients. The SCL-90 results showed that the “total scores”, “interpersonal sensitivity”, “depression”, “anxiety” and “panic” scored higher in our study than Chinese average level. Meanwhile, the SCL-90 data revealed that: 1) age was associated with anxiety disorder; 2) marital status was related to higher prevalence of hostility; 3) Being VHL patients was related to bigoted symptoms; and 4) closer relationship with the VHL patients was associated with depressive and hostility symptoms in the family. The study revealed that susceptibility to psychiatric symptoms was correlated with certain sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Depression and anxiety were the most prevalent psychiatric symptoms in the VHL family. This was the first study focusing on the psychological consequences of the VHL disease. An understanding of these factors would be helpful in providing appropriate mental health services to the VHL family.

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Zhang, J. , Chang, H. , Wu, Q. , Yan, R. , Tai, M. , Xu, X. and Liu, C. (2015) The Psychosocial Research of the Members in a Large Von Hippel-Lindau Family in China. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-10. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101079.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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