Depression and Cancer Mortality: A Meta-Analysis

Department of Psychology, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.
Psychological Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.94). 11/2010; 40(11):1797-810. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291709992285
Source: PubMed


The goal of the present study was to analyze associations between depression and mortality of cancer patients and to test whether these associations would vary by study characteristics.
Meta-analysis was used for integrating the results of 105 samples derived from 76 prospective studies.
Depression diagnosis and higher levels of depressive symptoms predicted elevated mortality. This was true in studies that assessed depression before cancer diagnosis as well as in studies that assessed depression following cancer diagnosis. Associations between depression and mortality persisted after controlling for confounding medical variables. The depression-mortality association was weaker in studies that had longer intervals between assessments of depression and mortality, in younger samples and in studies that used the Beck Depression Inventory as compared with other depression scales.
Screening for depression should be routinely conducted in the cancer treatment setting. Referrals to mental health specialists should be considered. Research is needed on whether the treatment of depression could, beyond enhancing quality of life, extend survival of depressed cancer patients.

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Available from: Martin Pinquart
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    • "For the population in general, the depression prevalence rates, according to the study that compiled epidemiological data coming from 18 countries in Brazil, exclusively the data from the state of São Paulo, were considered, it was verified that the greater prevalence in the last 12 months was registered in Brazil with 10.4% and the lowest in Japan, with 2.2% [14]. The presence of depressive symptoms in cancer patients is associated with the worse perception of the health, greater levels of pain, worse quality of life, lower survival, greater risk of death, among others [15]-[18]. These factors could become chronical or recurrent and take the patient to substantial losses in the capacity of caring for his own daily responsibilities, as in the case of isolation, resulting in work leave [19] [20]. "

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    • "Biopsychosocial models now highlight, however, that overall wellness must consider physical and mental health conjointly, with these elements being inextricably linked for both cancer patients and their caregivers. Patients expressing high levels of depressive symptoms (Hoppe et al., 2013; Pinquart & Duberstein, 2010; Satin, Linden, & Phillips, 2009) and stress (Chida, Hamer, Wardle, & Steptoe, 2008) have poorer physical health and treatment outcomes. "
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    • "Wassertheil-Smoller et al., 2004) or cancer (e.g. Pinquart and Duberstein, 2010). Specifically , increasing evidence suggests that the elevated risk for age-related disease in MDD may be due in part to an abnormal stress and immune response (e.g. "
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