Depression and Anxiety Levels in Early Stage Turkish Breast Cancer Patients and Related Factors


Psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety are common among cancer patients. If left untreated,these disorders can lead to poor treatment compliance, prolonged hospital stay and reduced life quality. In thisprospective study, we aimed determine anxiety and depression levels and related factors among female breastcancer patients presenting to a breast surgery clinic in Istanbul and who met the inclusion criteria. Data werecollected using a questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD). The mean age was 48.2years and the mean post-operative period was 17.9 months. It was found that 46.3 % of the patients had stageI, and 53.7 % stage II, 59.3 % of them undergoing breast conserving surgery and 40.7 % mastectomy. Whenevaluated according to the HAD Scale, it was found that anxiety scores of 35.1 % of the patients and depressionscores of 17.1 % of the patients were higher than their cut-off points. With regard to the affecting factors,depression scores of those with no family history of breast cancer were significantly higher than those with nofamily history of breast cancer (t= 1.53; p= 0.03); that the depression scores of the patients who underwentmastectomy were significantly higher than those who underwent breast conserving surgery (t= 1.75; p= 0.04).Additionally, it was found that low income was an important risk factor for anxiety; whereas a history of breastcancer in the family and mastectomy was an important risk factor for depression.These results indicate theimportance of determining psychiatric problems and appropriate approaches in addition to medical treatmentin breast cancer patients.