Prevalence and correlates of depressive disorders in outpatients with breast cancer in Lagos, Nigeria


Department of Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine, Lagos State University, 1–3 Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. E-mail:



While the physical complications of breast cancer are often recognized and well managed, the psychological sequelae, especially depression are often unrecognized by healthcare providers and therefore under treated. This study aimed to assess the rate and correlate of depressive disorders in breast cancer survivors in Lagos, Nigeria.


Patients (n = 124) recruited from a breast cancer outpatient clinic were assessed for the DSM-IV diagnosis of depressive disorders using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). The staging of the cancer, length of diagnosis and treatment type were recorded. Also socio-demographic details and their perceived level of social support were obtained.


Twenty-one (16.9%) were diagnosed as having Major Depressive Disorder, while 29 (23.4%) had Minor depressive disorder making a total of 50 (40.3%) cases with depression. The independent correlates of depression included being not married (odds ratio (OR) 3.09, 95% CI 1.30–7.42), perceived poor social support (OR 5.38, 95% CI 1.88–16.63) and advanced stage of the cancer (OR 3.22, 95% CI 1.32–8.26).


Our study suggests a high rate of associated depression among patients with breast cancer in our environment. Clinicians should be encouraged and empowered to probe for symptoms of depression in these patient while larger hypothesis-driven studies are needed.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.