Investigating Relationship between Pre- and Post- Chemotherapy Cognitive Performance with Levels of Depression and Anxiety in Breast Cancer Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Psychiatry, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.

2 Clinical Immunology Research Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology Ward, Ali-Ebne-Abitalelb Hospital, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.

3 GP, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.


Introduction: Evidence suggests that cancer and chemotherapy-related cognitive impairments are an important clinical issue that can have a negative impact on the quality of life (QOL) of many cancer patients during and after treatment. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive performance before and after chemotherapy with levels of depression and anxiety in patients with breast cancer. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study was performed on 100 women with breast cancer in south of Iran. Patients included in the study were evaluated for cognitive performance before chemotherapy and 1, 3, and 6 months after chemotherapy. Patients’ cognitive performance was assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Patients were also assessed for their level of anxiety and depression using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Descriptive tests (percentage, frequency and mean) and ANOVA test used for statistical analysis. Results: Results of ANOVA test showed a significant difference between the cognitive performance of patients with breast cancer at 1, 3, and 6 months after chemotherapy compared to pre- chemotherapy phase. The above test also revealed a significant relationship between cognitive performance of patients and anxiety and depression. Conclusion: The results showed that, due to the decrease in cognitive performance and increased anxiety and depression after initiation of chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer, it is necessary to closely monitor the mental and psychological status of these patients by their family and the treatment staffs so that the patient be able to cope with the disease more optimally and to recover.