Choice of surgery for early breast cancer: Pre- and postoperative levels of clinical anxiety and depression in patients and their husbands

Authors

  • Ms Jenny Morris,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, The University and University Department of Surgery, Royal South Hants Hospital, Graham Road, Southampton, UK
    • Department of Psychology, The University, Southampton SO9 5NH, UK
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  • G. T. Royle

    1. Department of Psychology, The University and University Department of Surgery, Royal South Hants Hospital, Graham Road, Southampton, UK
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Abstract

Two groups of patients with early breast cancer were studied prospectively to assess whether being offered a choice of surgery (simple mastectomy or wide excision plus radiotherapy) influenced levels of anxiety and depression pre- and postoperatively. A significantly higher percentage of the patients not offered a choice of surgery experienced high levels of anxiety and depression pre-operatively and up to 2 months postoperatively compared with patients offered a choice; the results were also similar for the husbands of these patients. At 4 months, differences between the two groups were not statistically significant, although the trend remained the same with more patients not offered a choice of treatment showing high levels of anxiety and depression. Patients offered a choice of surgery had similar pre- and postoperative levels of anxiety and depression to patients with benign breast disease and patients undergoing surgery for non-cancerous conditions.

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