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Pain is associated with continuing depression in cancer survivors.

Bamonti PM, Moye J, Naik AD. Pain is associated with continuing depression in cancer survivors. Psychology, health & medicine. 2018 Dec 1; 23(10):1182-1195.

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Depression is common but under-diagnosed in cancer survivors. This study characterized depressive symptoms over one year in cancer survivors and examined disease-related and psychosocial predictors of depression severity. Participants (n  =  122; M 65.33, SD  =  9.17, 98.4% male) with head and neck, esophageal, gastric, or colorectal cancers were recruited through tumor registries at two regional Veterans Administration Medical Centers. Self-report measures assessing depressive symptoms (PHQ-9), combat-related PTSD symptoms (PC-PTSD), and health-related quality of life (PROMIS) were administered at six, twelve, and eighteen months after diagnosis. Symptoms consistent with major depression were endorsed by approximately one-quarter of the sample at six (24%), twelve (22%), and eighteen (26%) months post diagnosis, with 12% of participants reporting consistently significant depressive symptoms. In multivariate modeling, significant predictors of depression at eighteen months included prior depressive symptoms (ß  =  .446, p  <  0.001) and current pain interference (ß  =  .231, p  =  .003). The present findings suggest that major depression is common and persistent one year following cancer diagnosis. Attention to pain management and routine monitoring of mood symptoms is critical to reducing risk of depression in cancer survivors.

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