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Support Care Cancer. 2014 Feb;22(2):453-9. doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1997-y. Epub 2013 Oct 4.

Prevalence of anxiety and depression and their risk factors in Chinese cancer patients.

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Department of Radiotherapy, First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, 350014, Fujian Province, China.



This paper aimed to obtain information on the levels of anxiety and depression among cancer patients in China. The factors influencing these psychological problems were also analyzed.


A total of 1,217 cancer patients were interviewed, and each participant was asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. The anxiety status, depression status, disease stage, tumor site, pain status, and performance status of the patients during the week prior to the interview were assessed.


The anxiety and depression prevalence rates were 6.49 and 66.72 %, respectively. The prevalence rates of depression were 60.62 % for head and neck cancer, 77.19 % for lung cancer, 57.9 % for breast cancer, 75.81 % for esophagus cancer, 63.40 % for stomach cancer, 68.42 % for liver cancer, 54.37 % for colorectal cancer, and 71.13 % for cervix cancer. The factors influencing depression of patients were performance status (P < 0.0001), pain (P = 0.0003), age (P < 0.0001), and education level (P < 0.0001). The risk factors of anxiety were performance status (P = 0.0007), age (P < 0.0001), and gender (P < 0.0001).


Depression was a more important psychological problem than anxiety in cancer patients. Compared with 3.8 % of the prevalence of depression in normal population, depression level was high among Chinese cancer patients. Patients with lung, esophagus, and cervix cancers were the high-risk groups for depression. Poor performance status, pain, old age, and low-level education were the predicting factors for depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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