A longitudinal investigation of psychological morbidity in patients with ovarian cancer

V. Gonçalves, G. Jayson, N. Tarrier

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    Ovarian cancer patients may experience psychological disorders due to the aggressive nature of the illness and treatment. We investigated the presence of psychological disorders longitudinally in women with a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer and the factors that predicted development and maintenance of these disorders. Patients were assessed in a prospective longitudinal study at the beginning of chemotherapy treatment, mid-treatment, end of treatment and 3 months follow-up for depression, anxiety, perceived social support, neuroticism and cognitive strategies to control unwanted thoughts. A total of 121 patients were recruited and 85 patients were assessed at all four time points. Three different longitudinal profiles of anxiety and depression caseness were found: non-cases (never cases), occasional cases (cases on at least one but not all four occasions) and stable cases (cases on all four occasions). Most of the women were occasional cases of anxiety (52%, 44), whereas for depression, the majority of women were non-cases (55%, 47). A subset of patients were stable cases of anxiety (22%, 19). Neuroticism and marital status were significant independent predictors of anxiety caseness profile. Neuroticism and use of anti-depressants were independent predictors of depression caseness profile. Social support was not related to psychological morbidity. © 2008 Cancer Research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1794-1801
    Number of pages7
    JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2008


    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Longitudinal study
    • Ovarian cancer


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