Anxiety and Depression among Breast Cancer Patients in an Urban Setting in Malaysia


Background: Breast cancer is one of the most feared diseases among women and it could induce thedevelopment of psychological disorders like anxiety and depression. An assessment was here performed of thestatus and to determine contributory factors. Materials and
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conductedamong breast cancer patients at University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center (UKMMC), Kuala Lumpur.A total of 205 patients who were diagnosed between 2007 until 2010 were interviewed using the questionnairesof Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HADS). The associated factors investigated concerned socio-demographics,socio economic background and the cancer status. Descriptive analysis, chi-squared tests and logistic regressionwere used for the statistical test analysis.
Results: The prevalence of anxiety was 31.7% (n=65 ) and of depressionwas 22.0% (n=45) among the breast cancer patients. Age group (p= 0.032), monthly income (p=0.015) andnumber of visits per month (p=0.007) were significantly associated with anxiety. For depression, marital status(p=0.012), accompanying person (p=0.041), financial support (p-0.007) and felt burden (p=0.038) were significantlyassociated. In binary logistic regression, those in the younger age group were low monthly income were 2 timesmore likely to be associated with anxiety. Having less financial support and being single were 3 and 4 timesmore likely to be associated with depression.
Conclusions: In management of breast cancer patients, more careor support should be given to the young and low socio economic status as they are at high risk of anxiety anddepression.