Are anxiety and depressed mood related to physical symptom burden? A study in hospitalized advanced cancer patients

S. C. C. M. Teunissen, A. de Graeff, E. E. Voest, J. C. J. M. de Haes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Anxiety and depressed mood are common symptoms in hospitalized advanced cancer patients. It is often presumed that anxiety and depression affect the occurrence and experience of physical symptoms. Purpose: To analyse the relation between anxiety, depressed mood and the presence and intensity of physical symptoms. Patients and methods: Anxiety and depressed mood were assessed in a hospitalized advanced cancer population (n = 79) primarily by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and also by a single-item question 'Are you anxious and/or depressed?' and by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS). Physical symptoms were assessed by a semi-structured interview and by the ESAS. Results: Thirty-four percent of the patients reported anxiety, 56% depressed mood and 29% both, as assessed by the HADS. The correlations between HADS, the single-item question and the ESAS were low. No association was found between anxiety or depressed mood and the presence of physical symptoms, Patients who were anxious or depressed had higher ESAS scores for insomnia and drowsiness; scores for pain, anorexia, asthenia, nausea and dyspnea were independent of anxiety and/or depressed mood. Conclusion: The relationship between anxiety, depressed mood and the presence and intensity of physical symptoms in hospitalized advanced cancer patients is very limited
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-346
JournalPalliative Medicine
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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