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Predictors of onset of depression and anxiety in the year after diagnosis of breast cancer

Hill, J., Holcombe, C., Clark, L., Boothby, M. R., Hincks, A., Salmon, P., Fisher, J. and Tufail, S. (2011) Predictors of onset of depression and anxiety in the year after diagnosis of breast cancer. Psychological Medicine, 41 (7). pp. 1429-1436. ISSN 1469-8978

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0033291710001868

Abstract/Summary

Background Depression and anxiety are common after diagnosis of breast cancer. We examined to what extent these are recurrences of previous disorder and, controlling for this, whether shame, self-blame and low social support after diagnosis predicted onset of depression and anxiety subsequently. Method Women with primary breast cancer who had been treated surgically self-reported shame, self-blame, social support and emotional distress post-operatively. Psychiatric interview 12 months later identified those with adult lifetime episodes of major depression (MD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) before diagnosis and onset over the subsequent year. Statistical analysis examined predictors of each disorder in that year. Results Of the patients, two-thirds with episodes of MD and 40% with episodes of GAD during the year after diagnosis were experiencing recurrence of previous disorder. Although low social support, self-blame and shame were each associated with both MD and GAD after diagnosis, they did not mediate the relationship of disorder after diagnosis with previous disorder. Low social support, but not shame or self-blame, predicted recurrence after controlling for previous disorder. Conclusions Anxiety and depression during the first year after diagnosis of breast cancer are often the recurrence of previous disorder. In predicting disorder following diagnosis, self-blame and shame are merely markers of previous disorder. Low social support is an independent predictor and therefore may have a causal role.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:41805
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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