Anxiety and Depression Among Oncology-Treated Patients with Cancer

2021 Year in Review: Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer —December 29, 2021


Lung Cancer

The fear of being diagnosed with cancer is common, and it causes people a tremendous deal of distress. Anxiety and depression are widespread among patients with cancer, and they appear to have an impact on quality of life, adherence to therapy, and even survival. Patients with cancer may experience demoralization, which includes emotions of despair, loss of significance, and spiritual discomfort. The purpose of this study is to look at the link between demoralization, anxiety, and depression, as well as the demographic and clinical characteristics that are linked to anxiety and depression.1

In a prospective cross-sectional observational study, a sample of 150 patients with cancer in the inpatient and outpatient settings from 2 oncology centers with various types of solid tumors received oncology treatment. The Demoralization Scale and the Greek version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were utilized as psychometric tools.1 Each hospital’s ethical committee or related bodies gave their approval to the study. Each patient was given written consent to participate after being briefed about the study’s goals.1

The average age of the patients was 62 years (range, 20-85 years), with 59.3% of patients being female. Breast cancer was found in 33% of patients, gastrointestinal cancer in 24%, and lung cancer in 15%. There were 82 (54.7%) individuals with metastatic disease. Anxiety was shown to be higher in women, and was favorably connected with time since diagnosis and inversely related to age. Patients who were not married had a greater incidence of depression. Demoralization had a statistically significant impact on anxiety (P <.001) and depression (P <.001).1

Anxiety and depression have been generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which could be significantly more dangerous in specific patient populations, such as with patients with cancer. Evidence suggests that patients who were less stressed and anxious scored higher on self-compassion, which could explain the link between depression and death anxiety. Creating a comfortable environment and providing the greatest supportive care for patients with cancer is critical, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic.2

It was found that demoralization has a major impact on anxiety and depression in patients with cancer. This highlights the importance of healthcare workers’ empathy and understanding of patients’ feelings to notice symptoms of despair and suffering in a timely manner.1 Other studies have shown the importance for patients with cancer to improve resilience to maintain mental health and quality of life. The findings suggest that providing interventions for factors that will reduce resilience will provide support for patients with cancer.3


  1. Arvanitou E, Parpa E, Tsilika E, et al. Anxiety and depression in cancer patients receiving oncology treatment: associated factors. Ann Oncol. 2021;32(suppl 5):S1098.
  2. Yousefi Afrashteh M, Masoumi S. Psychological well-being and death anxiety among breast cancer survivors during the Covid-19 pandemic: the mediating role of self-compassion. BMC Womens Health. 2021;21:387.
  3. Tamura S, Suzuki K, Ito Y, Fukawa A. Factors related to the resilience and mental health of adult cancer patients: a systematic review. Support Care Cancer. 2021;29:3471-3486.
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Last modified: December 29, 2021

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