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Asia Pac J Oncol Nurs. 2019 Oct-Dec;6(4):424-430. doi: 10.4103/apjon.apjon_13_19.

The Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Demographic-Medical Characteristics among Elder People with Cancer.

Author information

1
Geriatric Nursing Department, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.
2
Biostatistics Department, Health Faculty, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.
3
Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Center, Cancer Research Institute, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

Abstract

Objective:

Cancer is one of the most common life-threatening diseases and a great source of stress in patients. The risk factors of depression differ in elder people compared to other age groups. The present study was designed to determine the relationship between depressive symptoms and demographic-medical characteristics among elder people with cancer.

Methods:

This cross-sectional correlational study recruited 200 elder people with cancer. The eligible patients completed the demographic-medical characteristics questionnaire, the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Abbreviated Mental Test, the Activities of Daily Living Scale, and the Multidimensional Perceived Social Support Scale. The findings were analyzed in SPSS software version 21.0 using the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests.

Results:

A total of 50% of the elder people in this study had mild depression, 18.5% had moderate depression, and 2.5% had severe depression. A significant relationship was observed between depression in the elder people and their marital status (P = 0.025), living arrangement (P = 0.013), and income (P = 0.021). Depression also had a significant relationship with diabetes (P = 0.044) and respiratory diseases (P = 0.040). A significant relationship was also observed between depression and colon cancer (P = 0.007), and the mean depression was lower in the patients with colon cancer compared to those with other cancers. Depression had a significant relationship with complications, including pain (P = 0.001), nausea (P < 0.001), vomiting (P = 0.001), hair loss (P < 0.001), and shortness of breath (P = 0.028).

Conclusions:

Given the high prevalence of depression in this age group, screening and counseling-supportive interventions are recommended for helping prevent depression and come to terms with cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; depression; elder people

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