Depression in Lung Cancer Patients Attributed to Psychosocial Factors

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – In lung cancer patients, the root of depression is most frequently the personality traits and coping style of the individual, according to a team of Japanese researchers. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Clinical biopsychosocial risk factors for depression in lung cancer patients: a comprehensive analysis using data from the Lung Cancer Database Project,” which was published in the August issue of Annals of Oncology.

In this study, the investigators aimed to examine a multitude of risk factors attributed to depression in lung cancer patients. Although these factors have been examined in previous studies, they have been examined one at a time in smaller samples. To meet the aim of this study, the investigators obtained on cancer-related variables, personal characteristics, health behaviors, physical symptoms, and psychological factors from 1,334 lung cancer patients, which were stratified by depression status.

Depression was found in 165 (12.4%) participants. When the investigators deeply examined the risk factors for depression, they found a strong association with psychological factors (overall R2, 36.5%), such as personality characteristics (neuroticism) and coping style (low fighting spirit, helplessness/hopelessness, and anxious preoccupation).

“Although the contributions of cancer-related variables, personal characteristics, health behaviors, and clinical state were relatively low, cancer stage, cancer type, sex, and age correlated significantly with depression,” the investigators reported.

Based on these data, they concluded that, in lung cancer patients, the root of depression is most frequently the personality traits and coping style of the individual.

“Using screening instruments to identify these factors may be useful for preventive interventions,” the investigators wrote.

Abstract

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