DEPRESSION AND ITS PREDICTORS AMONG BREAST CANCER PATIENTS IN NEPAL
Abha Sharma, Jingping Zhang
Objectives: The main objectives of the study were to determine: (i) the prevalence of depression among breast cancer patients in Nepal; (ii) the association between depression and socio-demographic and disease-related variables; and (iii) to explore correlates and predictors of depression among these patients. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used. A structured form for sociodemographic and disease-related information, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were used to collect information from 120 participants. The study was conducted at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital, Nepal. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 16. Results: The mean age of respondents was 51.92 (S.D=10.1783). The mean depression score was 11.266 (S.D=2.782) and the mean anxiety score was 11.81 (S.D=3.47). 4.2% had severe depression, 60% had moderate depression, and 29.2% of respondents had mild levels of depression. There were no significant differences between age group, marital status, family status, time since diagnosis, and treatment done with depression level of respondents where-as educational level (p=0.014), occupation (p=0.001), and anxiety level of respondents (p=0.000) had a significant impact on depression. Depression was found to be negatively correlated with the educational status of respondents (r=-0.226, P=0.013) and positively correlated with the anxiety level of respondents (r=0.450, P=0.000). Educational status (P=0.008, B=-0.466 and Beta=-0.212) along with anxiety level of respondents (P=0.000, B=0.369 and Beta=0.461) accounts for 30.4% of variance in depression level of respondents (F=25.494 and R2=0.304). Conclusion: The prevalence of depression among breast cancer patients was high. Psychological morbidities compromise the treatment and quality of life of the patient. Thus management of cancer should include screening for psychological morbidities, Psychological rehabilitation should be provided along with anti-cancer treatment.