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Health Psychol. 2004 Nov;23(6):564-73.

A longitudinal analysis of the course of depressive symptomatology in geriatric patients with cancer of the breast, colon, lung, or prostate.

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Michigan State University, College of Nursing, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


This study mapped the trajectory of depression and its components (depressive mood, somatic expression of depression, and lack of positive affect) for 1 year after an initial cancer diagnosis, revealing the complex nature of the psychological response to the cancer experience. The analysis was based on 4 waves of panel data from 860 older patients with incident breast, colon, lung, or prostate cancer. Predictors of depressive symptoms included cancer site; stage; comorbidities; sociodemographic characteristics; and indicators of physical functioning, symptom severity, and treatment. Patients' overall depressive symptoms declined, especially depressive mood and somatic indicators. By contrast, the sense of well-being did not recover; in fact, it would have deteriorated without improvements in physical functioning and physical symptoms. The present findings show the importance of psychological assessments and symptom management during cancer treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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