Depression in patients with cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy

Masters Thesis

Beyer, Kathryn. 2009. Depression in patients with cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. Masters Thesis Master of Health Science. University of Southern Queensland.

Depression in patients with cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorBeyer, Kathryn
SupervisorGorman, Don
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Health Science
Number of Pages88

This simple quantitative research investigated whether patients with cancer developed depression whilst receiving adjuvant chemotherapy, and whether there was a particular time in the treatment cycle that it was likely to develop. A longitudinal survey method was chosen and the instrument of use was the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). The content of this survey include factors that reflect negative attitudes towards self, performance impairment and somatic disturbances as well as general factors of depression.

Twenty-six participants were given the BDI-II, and asked to report on side effects that they had experienced every two weeks whilst they were receiving chemotherapy. The study took place in two regional oncology clinics.

This report demonstrates that, patients can develop depression whilst receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. The study revealed that the 5th fortnight into a patient’s chemotherapy treatment was a more vulnerable point in their treatment to develop depression.

Descriptive analysis illustrated that more females than males suffered depression and that those receiving treatment for breast cancer were more likely to develop depression.

Correlation statistics demonstrated a relationship between fatigue and depressive symptoms. There was no statistically significant correlation between the number of side effects experienced by participants and depression.

In summary, the findings suggest that patients were more vulnerable to developing depression around the 5th fortnight of their chemotherapy cycle. This research has demonstrated throughout that depression does occur in patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy and that female patients are more likely to develop depression than males.

Due to the small sample size though, the results were not statistically significant. The findings from this research could provide direction for more thorough studies in the future.

The style of reporting used throughout this thesis has been the Harvard referencing style to ensure compliance with the university requirements and to maintain consistency.

Keywordsdepression; cancer; chemotherapy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420599. Nursing not elsewhere classified
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