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Eur J Cancer. 1997 Sep;33(10):1597-604.

Prevalence of anxiety and depression in cancer patients seen at the Norwegian Radium Hospital.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy, Oslo, Norway.


The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of anxiety and depression in cancer patients seen at the Norwegian Radium Hospital, using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the EORTC QLQ-C33 and an ad hoc designed questionnaire. In addition, information about the patients' malignant disease and treatment was obtained. The prevalence of anxiety and depression among 716 evaluable patients was 13% and 9% respectively, as assessed with HADS. In hospitalised patients, the risk of psychiatric distress was approximately twice that of patients in the outpatient clinic. Female patients reported significantly more anxiety than men. Patients < 30 or > 70 years old expressed less anxiety than all other patients. Age or gender had no influence on the occurrence of depression. Impaired ability to continue professional work and/or daily life activities, impaired social life and previous psychiatric problems were significantly correlated with anxiety and depression as were impaired physical function, fatigue and pain. The prevalence of depression, but not anxiety, increased in the presence of distant metastases, with less than a month since diagnosis, and with relapse or progression. In the logistic regression analysis, a history of previous psychiatric problems and impaired social life were correlated with both anxiety and depression. Female gender, impaired physical activity and impaired social role function were additional predictive parameters for anxiety, whereas fatigue predicted depression. Careful attention should be paid to cancer patients displaying these problems in order to diagnose and treat depression and anxiety disorders.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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