Comorbid anxiety and depression among women receiving care for breast cancer: analysis of prevalence and associated factors
Background: Living with breast cancer has been associated with increased risk for common mental health problems including depression and anxiety. However, the prevalence of comorbid anxiety and depression (CAD) and their associated factors have
received little attention especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including Ghana.
Objectives: This study examined the prevalence of CAD and its correlates in the context of breast cancer.
Methods: Participants were 205 women receiving care for breast cancer at a Tertiary Hospital in Ghana. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and socio-demographic questionnaires were administered to the participants.
Results: Findings from the study showed that the prevalence of CAD, anxiety and depression was 29.4%, 48.5% and 37.3% respectively. CAD was significantly predicted by patients’ English language reading ability, shared decision making and good doctor-patient relationship. Anxiety was significantly predicted by shared decision making and good doctor-patient relationship whereas depression was significantly predicted educational status, patients’ English language reading ability, shared decision making and good doctor-patient relationship.
Conclusion: The findings suggest relatively high prevalence of comorbid anxiety and depression which could negatively impact breast cancer treatment outcomes and therefore, improved interpersonal relationships between doctors and their patients as well as literacy skills are warranted.
Keywords: Breast cancer; depression; anxiety; doctor-patient relationship; shared decision making; Ghana.
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