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Distress, anxiety, and depression in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy

DOI: 10.1186/1477-7819-4-68

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Abstract:

A total of 117 patients were evaluated by using distress inventory for cancer (DIC2) and hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS). Majority of the patients were taking chemotherapy for solid tumors (52; 44.4%).The mean distress score was 24, 18 (15.38%) were found to have anxiety while 19 (16.23%) had depression. High social status was the only factor found to influence distress while female gender was the only factor found to influence depression in the present study.The study highlights high psychological morbidity of cancer patients and influence of gender on depression. Construct of distress as evaluated by DIC 2 may have a possible overlap with anxiety.Treatment of cancer is by three main modalities namely surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The hematological malignancies and lympho-prolifaretive disorders are mainly managed by chemotherapy while in solid tumors chemotherapy is used either as adjuvant or neoadjuvant. The chemotherapy is an intense and cyclic treatment and unlike surgery has many side-effects like hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Long periods of treatment, repeated hospitalizations and side-effects of chemotherapy beside the knowledge of having cancer can all affect the psyche of these patients. In context of cancer, distress is defined as extending along a continuum ranging from common normal feeling of vulnerability, sadness and fear to problems that can become disabling such as depression, anxiety and Panic, social isolation and spiritual crisis [1]. Of these, anxiety is the most commonly seen in cancer patients. It can occur in four forms i.e. situational anxiety, disease related anxiety, treatment related anxiety and as an exacerbation of pre-treatment anxiety disorder [2]. In the present study we used distress inventory for cancer version 2 (DIC 2)to measure preclinical distress [3] and hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) to evaluate clinical case ness for anxiety and depression in patients undergoing chemotherap

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