Anxiety and Depression in Women Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer and Waiting for Surgery: Prevalence and Associations with Socio-Demographic Variables
and Objectives: Cancer is a threatening-life disease with a significant psychological burden. The psychological morbidity varies according to the phases of the illness and is influenced by multiple socio-demographic factors, that are useful to consider in order to identify the categories of patients most at risk of developing psychiatric disorders. The present study analyzes, in a sample of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, the relationships between their levels of anxiety and
... xiety and depression and several socio-demographic characteristics. The study was cross-sectional. Materials and Methods: Four hundred and seventy eight women newly diagnosed with breast cancer completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale during the pre-surgical phase. Results: Findings show that almost 40% of the sample had clinically relevant anxious symptoms and about a quarter of the sample had significant depressive symptoms. Their prevalence was higher in widows. Moreover, depressive symptoms were higher in older women and anxious symptoms were higher in patients with a lower educational level. In the pre-surgical phase, women can suffer from clinically relevant anxiety and depression, especially the widows, older women, and women with a lower educational level. Conclusions: Identifying the most psychologically vulnerable patients, due to specific socio-demographic characteristics, is essential in order to provide adequate psycho-oncological treatments to the categories of patients, who are most at risk of developing psychopathological concerns.