Psychological and psychiatric sequelae of steroid use in haematology treatments: A review of the literature

Diseases Research Australia

There is considerable evidence that corticosteroid treatments are frequently associated with severe emotional and even psychiatric disturbances. Since their introduction as therapeutic agents, corticosteroids have been associated with symptoms ranging from mood disturbances to (florid) psychosis. In consideration of the centrality of steroid use in hematology, the expectation is that there should be extensive literature on the psychological and psychiatric interface with steroids in the treatment of these diagnostic groups. To date, however, although the emotional impact of corticosteroid use is reported in a wide range of diagnostic disorders there has been scant attention to this phenomenon in relation to treatment for hematological malignancies. The lack of research insights into this area has left a vacuum for clinical care and psychosocial support. More research needs to be done to address this imbalance, to achieve the optimum outcome for hematology patients and their families. This review provides a starting point by outlining the present literature on the psychological and psychiatric impact of steroid use.

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