Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Women Prior to and for 6 Months After Breast Cancer Surgery

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Abstract

Depressive symptoms are common in women with breast cancer. This study evaluated how ratings of depressive symptoms changed from the time of the preoperative assessment to 6 months after surgery and investigated whether specific demographic, clinical, and symptom characteristics predicted preoperative levels of and/or characteristics of the trajectories of depressive symptoms. Characteristics that predicted higher preoperative levels of depressive symptoms included being married/partnered; receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy; more fear of metastasis; higher levels of trait anxiety, state anxiety, sleep disturbance, problems with changes in appetite; more hours per day in pain; and lower levels of attentional function. Future studies need to evaluate associations between anxiety, fears of recurrence, and uncertainty, as well as personality characteristics and depressive symptoms.

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