Cancer and the adverse events of its treatment influence patients’ psychology and decrease their quality of life. The aim of this study was the investigation of the relationship between anxiety, depression and quality of life of ambulatory cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in the one-day clinic of a large anticancer Hospital in Athens, Greece. Our convenience heterogeneous sample included 150 patients who received chemotherapy. Participants completed the Distress Thermometer and Problem List, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the EORTC QLQ-C30 (version 3.0) for the assessment of Quality of life and the demographic and clinical characteristics questionnaire. Permission for the research was obtained by the ethical committee of the hospital. Data analysis was conducted by SPSS 22.0. The statistical significance level was set at p < 0.05.
The mean age of the participants was 60.07±11.42 while 64% of the sample was female. The majority of patients reported worry (82.7%), fatigue (84.7%), fear (74.7%), nervousness, (51.3%) sadness (51.3%) and depression (34%). Female patients reported higher distress levels than male (p < 0,005). The participants’ educational level was found to correlate significantly with the cognitive functioning (p = 0.017) and financial impact (p = 0.026) subscales. Statistically significant positive correlations were found between HADS-anxiety and HADS-depression and symptom subscales of the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire (fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, dyspnea, sleep disturbances, appetite loss and financial impact). Statistically significant negative correlations were also found between HADS-anxiety and HADS-depression and the functional subscales of the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire (physical, role, emotional, cognitive and social functioning).
Anxiety and depression have a negative influence on the quality of life of ambulatory cancer patients during chemotherapy. Nurses could play an important role in the recognition and management of these symptoms. Academics and nurse managers professionals need to enhance nurses’ knowledge and sensitivity and empower them to take an active role.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Program of Postgraduate Studies in "Neurological Disorders - Evidence Based Practice", Nursing Department, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece.
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.