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Head Neck. 2006 May;28(5):453-61.

Persistent posttreatment depressive symptoms in patients with head and neck cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Rm 21010 PFP, 200 Hawkins Drive, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. lucy-karnell@uiowa.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study examined the prevalence and risk factors of persistent (versus short-term) depressive symptoms in patients with head and neck cancer.

METHODS:

Patients with 10+ and 18+ posttreatment Beck Depression Inventory scores for 6 or more months during their first year were identified. Regression analyses determined risk factors associated with persistently high scores.

RESULTS:

Of the 148 patients, 25.0% and 7.4% were persistently above the 10+ and 18+ cutoff scores, respectively (compared with 33.6% to 44.2% and 9.2% to 18.6% when measured at single points across this time period.) The strongest predictor of persistent posttreatment depressive symptoms was pretreatment depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

The percentage of patients with persistently high levels of depressive symptoms, although considerable, is substantially lower when patients with transient mood disorders are omitted. A screening tool that determines high levels of pretreatment depressive symptoms could identify patients at high risk of experiencing posttreatment depression who would be good candidates for clinical intervention.

PMID:
16320360
DOI:
10.1002/hed.20370
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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