Anxiety and depression in women with breast cancer related lymphodema: an Australian study

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives Breast cancer related lymphoedema is a significant cause of distress for women after treatment for breast cancer. This paper describes the findings from a study investigating anxiety and depression in a sample of Australian women with breast cancer related lymphoedema. Methods Anxiety and depression were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) in 101 Australian women with breast cancer related lymphoedema. The HADS is a reliable and valid measure of both anxiety and depression and has been used extensively in a cancer population. Results Results from the HADS suggested that 15% of the women had scores indicative of clinical anxiety and 5% had scores indicative of clinical depression. T-test analyses revealed that women who described their lymphoedema as moderate/severe had higher levels of depression than those who described their lymphoedema as mild. There was no significant difference in anxiety levels between the mild and moderate/severe lymphoedema severity groups. Significantly higher levels of depression were experienced in women who reported reductions in everyday and leisure activities and decreased levels of independence since their lymphoedema diagnosis. Higher levels of anxiety and depression were observed in those with more lymphoedema symptomotology. Discussion The Results of the current study indicate that higher levels of anxiety than depression exist in women with breast cancer related lymphoedema. Those with mild lymphoedema are less depressed than those with moderate/severe lymphoedema. Those experiencing lymphoedema symptoms, such as pain, numbness, swelling, stiffness and movement restriction, reported higher levels of anxiety and depression than those without symptoms. Such results highlight the distress associated with lymphoedema severity and symptom burden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages174
Number of pages1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventAnnual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society 2006: Social Change and New Challenges for Health Psychology - Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 30 Aug 20062 Sep 2006
Conference number: 20th

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society 2006
Abbreviated titleEHPS 2006
CountryPoland
CityWarsaw
Period30/08/062/09/06

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