Predictors of anxiety and depression in people with colorectal cancer

Nicola M. Gray (Lead / Corresponding author), Susan J. Hall, Susan Browne, Marie Johnston, Amanda J. Lee, Una Macleod, Elizabeth D. Mitchell, Leslie Samuel, Neil C. Campbell

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    58 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: People living with colorectal cancer are at risk of anxiety and depression. We investigated what factors were most highly associated with these.

    METHODS: Four hundred and ninety-six people with colorectal cancer completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data on functioning, symptoms, illness perceptions and social difficulties were collected by questionnaire. Case-note-identified disease, treatment and co-morbidity data were recorded. Multiple logistic regression identified factors independently predictive of anxiety and depression caseness.

    RESULTS: Self-reported history of anxiety/depression predicted anxiety but not depression caseness. Depression caseness predicted anxiety caseness (p = 0.043), as did poorer self-reported cognitive functioning (p = 0.001), dyspnoea (p = 0.015) or diarrhoea (p = 0.021), reporting a high negative life and emotional impact (p < 0.001) and having difficulties with finance (p = 0.007). Having neo-adjuvant radiotherapy increased the odds of depression caseness (p = 0.007), as did poorer physical (p = 0.007), cognitive (p < 0.001) and social (p < 0.001) functioning, having constipation (p = 0.011), reporting a high negative life and emotional impact (p < 0.001), having difficulties with personal care (p = 0.022) and communicating with others (p = 0.014).

    CONCLUSION: Levels of anxiety caseness were similar to those of non-clinical samples, but depression caseness was higher, particularly in those who had received neo-adjuvant radiotherapy. Most factors associated with possible or probable depression may be modified with appropriate intervention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307-314
    Number of pages8
    JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


    • Anxiety
    • Colorectal neoplasms
    • Depression
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle aged
    • Psychiatric status rating scales
    • Surveys and questionnaires


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