Background: Health professionals are often faced with the need to identify women at risk of manifesting poor psychological resilience following the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Machine learning algorithms are increasingly used to support clinical decision support (CDS) tools in helping health professionals identify women who are at risk of adverse well-being outcomes and plan customized psychological interventions for women at risk. Clinical flexibility, cross-validated performance accuracy, and model explainability permitting person-specific identification of risk factors are highly desirable features of such tools. Objective: This study aimed to develop and cross-validate machine learning models designed to identify breast cancer survivors at risk of poor overall mental health and global quality of life and identify potential targets of personalized psychological interventions according to an extensive set of clinical recommendations. Methods: A set of 12 alternative models was developed to improve the clinical flexibility of the CDS tool. All models were validated using longitudinal data from a prospective, multicenter clinical pilot at 5 major oncology centers in 4 countries (Italy, Finland, Israel, and Portugal; the Predicting Effective Adaptation to Breast Cancer to Help Women to BOUNCE Back [BOUNCE] project). A total of 706 patients with highly treatable breast cancer were enrolled shortly after diagnosis and before the onset of oncological treatments and were followed up for 18 months. An extensive set of demographic, lifestyle, clinical, psychological, and biological variables measured within 3 months after enrollment served as predictors. Rigorous feature selection isolated key psychological resilience outcomes that could be incorporated into future clinical practice. Results: Balanced random forest classifiers were successful at predicting well-being outcomes, with accuracies ranging between 78% and 82% (for 12-month end points after diagnosis) and between 74% and 83% (for 18-month end points after diagnosis). Explainability and interpretability analyses built on the best-performing models were used to identify potentially modifiable psychological and lifestyle characteristics that, if addressed systematically in the context of personalized psychological interventions, would be most likely to promote resilience for a given patient. Conclusions: Our results highlight the clinical utility of the BOUNCE modeling approach by focusing on resilience predictors that can be readily available to practicing clinicians at major oncology centers. The BOUNCE CDS tool paves the way for personalized risk assessment methods to identify patients at high risk of adverse well-being outcomes and direct valuable resources toward those most in need of specialized psychological interventions.
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©Georgios C Manikis, Nicholas J Simos, Konstantina Kourou, Haridimos Kondylakis, Paula Poikonen-Saksela, Ketti Mazzocco, Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Berta Sousa, Albino J Oliveira-Maia, Johanna Mattson, Ilan Roziner, Chiara Marzorati, Kostas Marias, Mikko Nuutinen, Evangelos Karademas, Dimitrios Fotiadis.
- breast cancer
- machine learning
- mental health
- risk assessment