Assessment of Depression and Anxiety in Breast Cancer Patients: Prevalence and Associated Factors

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Nursing, Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece.

2 General Hospital of Athens “Elpis”, Athens, Greece.

3 Oncology Hospital of Thessaloniki “Theagenio”, Thessaloniki, Greece.

4 Department of Nursing, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece.

5 Department of Nursing, University of Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece.


Introduction: Having breast cancer or receiving treatment has been seen as a traumatic experience for women due
to its impacts on their self-image and sexual relationship, and may lead to an psychological reactions such as denial,
anger, or intense fear toward their disease and treatment process. Also many of breast cancer patients have psychiatric
morbidities such as depression and anxiety. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence and
associated factors of depression and anxiety in breast cancer patients, in order to identify independent predictors of mental
health disorders risk. Material and Methods: A cohort of 152 breast cancer patients who were attending an outpatient
oncology department was recruited. Data were collected with a structured questionnaire consisted by social, clinical
and demographic information and PHQ-2 and GAD-2 scales. Results: The mean age of the patients was 53.25 years
(SD=12.10), 69.7% of the patients underwent mastectomy and 30.3% ongectomy. Chemotherapy received 46.1% of
patients as adjuvant therapy, 15.8% radiotherapy and 38.2% received both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. A large
percentage found to be classified as depressed (38.2%) and anxious (32.2%) and factors that found to be associated
were age, marital status, educational level, stage of cancer from univariate analyses and place of residence, religion,
symptoms burden from multivariate analysis (for depression and anxiety). Conclusions: Breast cancer patients are
in high risk for developing psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. Being rural resident, non-Orthodox
Christian and experiencing extend symptom burden can be predicting factors associated with depression and anxiety
in breast cancer patients.


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