Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Understanding the sociology and psychology of human actions

Increased Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety after Colorectal Cancer

The prevalence of depression and anxiety are increased among survivors of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a study by Floortje Mols c.s. published in the scientific journal Cancer.

Floortje Mols (Dept. Medical & Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University) and colleagues examined symptoms of depression and anxiety among survivors of CRC. A total of 2,625 patients diagnosed with CRC between 2000 and 2009 completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013; an age- and sex-matched normative sample comprising 315 individuals completed the questionnaires in 2011.

The researchers found that, compared with the normative sample, patients reported a significantly higher prevalence of depression (19 versus 12.8 percent) and anxiety (20.9 versus 11.8 percent). There was a correlation for longer time since diagnosis with fewer depression symptoms over time; older age and being male were correlated with less anxiety and more depression. Less anxiety and depression were seen in association with being married; a lower educational level and comorbid conditions were correlated with more anxiety and depression. There was a correlation for higher levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression with lower global quality of life and lower physical, role, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning over time.

"Screening and referral are of the utmost importance, especially among those who are single, have a low educational level, and have comorbid conditions," the authors write.

Full Text