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Keywords:

  • anxiety;
  • cancer pain;
  • depression;
  • functional status

Anxiety and depression in Taiwanese cancer patients with and without pain

The purpose of this investigation was to compare anxiety and depression in Taiwanese cancer patients with and without pain. In 1998, a convenience sample of 203 hospitalized cancer patients, 77 with pain and 126 without pain, were assessed for anxiety and depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Disease-related factors such as performance status, disease stage and perceived treatment effect were also assessed and controlled for their effect on anxiety and depression. The prevalence of both anxiety and depression in the pain group was significantly higher than that for the pain-free group. After controlling the effect of disease-related factors, patients’ pain status had a significant effect on depression, but not on anxiety. Patients with pain had more depressive symptoms than patients without pain. Cancer patients’ anxiety can be predicted significantly by functional status and perceived treatment effect. In addition to pain status, cancer patients’ depression can be predicted by their functional status.