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J Clin Oncol. 2005 May 1;23(13):3052-60.

Depression, correlates of depression, and receipt of depression care among low-income women with breast or gynecologic cancer.

Author information

  • 1DSW, School of Social Work-0411, University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. e-mail: ell@usc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To assess the prevalence of depression among low-income, ethnic minority women with breast or gynecologic cancer, receipt of antidepressant medications or counseling services, and correlates of depression.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Study patients were 472 women receiving cancer care in an urban public medical center. Women had a primary diagnosis of breast (stage 0 to III) or gynecologic cancer (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage 0 to IIIB). A diagnostic depression screen and baseline questionnaire were administered before or during active treatment or during active follow-up. Self-report data were collected on receipt of depression treatment, use of supportive counseling, pain and receipt of pain medication, functional status and well-being, and perceived barriers to cancer care.

RESULTS:

Twenty-four percent of women reported moderate to severe levels of depressive disorder (30% of breast cancer patients and 17% of gynecologic cancer patients). Only 12% of women meeting criteria for major depression reported currently receiving medications for depression, and only 5% of women reported seeing a counselor or participating in a cancer support group. Neither cancer stage nor treatment status was correlated with depression. Primary diagnosis of breast cancer, younger age, greater functional impairment, poorer social and family well-being, anxiety, comorbid arthritis, and fears about treatment side effects were correlated with depression.

CONCLUSION:

Findings indicate that depressive disorder among ethnic minority, low-income women with breast or gynecologic cancer is prevalent and is correlated with pain, anxiety, and health-related quality of life. Because these women are unlikely to receive depression treatment or supportive counseling, there is a need for routine screening, evaluation, and treatment in this population.

PMID:
15860863
PMCID:
PMC1460295
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.2005.08.041
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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