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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 195-200

Prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in female breast cancer patients

1 166 Military Hospital, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, 166 Military Hospital, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Military Hospital, Pathankot, Punjab, India
4 Department of Paediatrics, 166 Military Hospital, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
5 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Level III Hospital, Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harpreet Singh Dhillon
Department of Psychiatry, 166 Military Hospital, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_179_20

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Background: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths among females worldwide. Once an individual encounters this diagnosis, she may go through a mix of emotions such as shock, disbelief, fear, anxiety, guilt, sadness, grief, depression, and anger. The present study attempts to find the prevalence of anxiety and depression in female breast cancer patients presenting in a tertiary care hospital. Methods: A total of 100 consecutive cases of female breast cancer patients, who were admitted to the oncology ward at the time of evaluation, either for follow-up or treatment, were taken as cases, in a tertiary care hospital over a period of 1½ year. Baseline demographic data of cases were entered in a semi-structured pro forma on admission. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was used to assess distress. The prevalence and severity of anxiety and depression were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. The patients were also evaluated for relationship between depressive and anxiety symptoms and various other sociodemographical factors. Chi-square test was used as the statistical tool to analyze the data. Results: The mean GHQ-12 score was 16.44 (standard deviation = 4.66), with 26% of patients showing evidence of distress and 18% evidence of severe problems and psychological distress. Nearly 36% of the breast cancer patients had significant anxiety scores (mean = 8.34). Almost 34% of the breast cancer patients had significant depression scores (mean = 8.27). Younger patients (<50 years) showed significantly high incidence of depression. Conclusion: The results of the study showed that both anxiety and depression were significantly higher in breast cancer patients, emphasizing the need for dedicated service provision (psych-oncology units at cancer centers). Various sociodemographic factors studied (except age) did not show any statistically significant difference in the incidence of anxiety or depression.

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