Depression, Hopelessness and Social Support among Breast Cancer Patients: in Highly Endogamous Population

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.

2 Department of Evidence for Population Health Unit, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

3 Department of Oncology and Hematology, Al Amal Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar.

4 Regent's University, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London NW1 4NS, UK.


Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between different demographic variables, hopelessness, depression and social support of Breast cancer patients in Qatari’s population. Design: This is an observational cohort hospital based study. Subjects and Methods: The study included 678 breast cancer patients. The questionnaires included a demographic questionnaire, the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Back Depression Scale (BDS) and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). The demographic questionnaire was used to assess patients’ basic information including gender, age, marital status, education, family size, and place of residence. Medical information regarding cancer stage, the time passed since diagnosis, treatment, and duration of disease were recorded. Results: The mean age of the studied women was 47.7±10.2 years. Among the studied patients, 34.7% were Qataris and 65.3% were Arab expatriates. Nearly 39.2% of the patients were in pre-menopausal status and 60.8% in post-menopausal status. 86.1% of women were married. 14.6% were illiterate women, 20.9% were university graduates and 37.2% were housewives. Smoking habit was less common in studied Arab women (9.1%), but, sheesha smoking was more common, 17.7%. Daily physical activity indicated 25.7% were walking 30 minutes per-day and 14% were walking 60 minutes per day. 30.4% of them had consanguineous parents. Breast feeding was practiced among 67.7% of women and over 73% were considered overweight and obese. Furthermore, over 75% of breast cancer women were at the Stage 3 (40.9%) and Stage 4 (35.8%) of cancer. The percentage of patients who underwent mastectomy and lumpectomy were 49.3 % and 50.7%, respectively. It was observed that 27.7% of BDI patients had moderate depression and 19.5% of the BDI patients had severe depression and with mean and standard deviation 25.1±7.7. Also, the mean and SD of BDI for consanguineous has showed statistically significant 28.4±5.7 than non- consanguineous 23.2± 8.0 (p<0.001). All socio-demographic variables showed statistically significant differences with the total BHS score. The highest score belongs to the family sub-dimension. Conclusion: The present study indicates that hopelessness of the patients with breast cancer decreased with the increase in their social support. Therefore, activating patient social support systems is of importance in increasing their levels of hope. The present study revealed the coexistence of the socio-demographic, physical, psychological, and cognitive problems faced by patients with cancer.


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