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Psychosomatics. 2006 Nov-Dec;47(6):465-70.

Measuring somatic symptoms with the CES-D to assess depression in cancer patients after treatment: comparison among patients with oral/oropharyngeal, gynecological, colorectal, and breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pain Center, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, 9700 RB Groningen, the Netherlands. c.p.van.wilgen@anest.umcg.nl


There is a high prevalence of depression after cancer treatment. In the literature, several authors have raised questions about assessing somatic symptoms to explore depression after cancer treatment. These somatic sequelae are a consequence of cancer treatment and should cause higher depression rates in cancer patients. In this study, the Somatic domain on a depression questionnaire, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D) was analyzed in different cancer patients after treatment, as compared with a control group. Data from 566 cancer patients (oral/oropharyngeal, gynecological, colorectal, and breast cancer) and 255 randomly chosen comparison patients were analyzed. The total score on the CES-D domain of Somatic Retarded Activity significantly differed between the cancer and comparison groups; but the cancer groups showed both less somatic morbidity (colorectal cancer) and more somatic morbidity (oral/oropharyngeal, breast) than the comparison group. In the analyses of the CES-D with and without the Somatic domain, the prevalence of depression symptoms with the Somatic domain is lower for the cancer groups. Authors conclude that cancer patients are not a homogenous group as regards somatic sequelae. Evidence for removing Somatic items from the CES-D for patients after cancer treatment was not confirmed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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