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



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.