Women with breast cancer: relationships between social factors involving anxiety and depression
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Arch Psych Psych 2008;10(4):57-62
Aim. The impact of social factors on the anxiety and depression of breast cancer patients has yet to be thoroughly studied. The present study on social factors influencing patients' anxiety and depression enables the identification of the most vulnerable patients who are in need of psychosocial assistance. Subjects and methods. The present study included 117 female patients with cT1-T2/N0-N1/M0 stages of breast cancer, treated at the Breast Surgery and Oncology Department of a community hospital. Prior to surgery, the study participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Six to seven subsequent to surgery, they completed the HADS and a form about their social status. Results. The depression and anxiety scores of the employed females significantly decreased after surgery, while those of retired or unemployed females remained unchanged. The depression and anxiety scores in married females decreased significantly, reaching moderate ES on HADS-A subscale, while in the group of single, widowed or divorced females, there was no change in depression and a small change in anxiety scores. One week after the surgery, mean depression scores in married females were lower than in single, widowed or divorced females, a difference was due to a decrease in depression level in those who were married. A similar effect was observed, when comparing employed females to those who were unemployed and retired. In multivariate analysis only employment status and marital status were independently associated with depression as assessed by HADS one week post surgery. Conclusions. Employment and marital status have a significant impact on the anxiety and depression in those suffering from breast cancer, particularly during the early post-surgical period.
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