• breast cancer;
  • major depressive disorder;
  • prevalence;
  • correlates;
  • oncology



Our objective is to measure the prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder (MDD) among Chinese breast cancer patients after surgery, which is essential for analyzing the service needs and allocating mental health resources.


A total of 505 patients were randomly recruited from 1580 post-surgery breast cancer outpatients from one tertiary hospital in Shanghai, and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview was used to assess 1-month prevalence of MDD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) in a two-phase design.


The adjusted 1-month prevalence of MDD was 20.59% (95% CI 17.06–23.82). The risk for depression within the first year was two times as higher as that in more than 1 year. Patients within 1 year after surgery, with lower income, disrupted marriage or being single, recurrent breast cancer and psychiatric history were more likely to have MDD. There was no significant association between depression and disease stage, type of surgery, receptor status and cancer treatment.


Depression is quite common in Chinese breast cancer patients and survivors. A more sensitive and responsive mental health service is recommended for this population. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.