Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya

Co-organiser

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya

CLINICAL DEPRESSION WHILE CARING FOR LOVED ONES WITH BREAST CANCER

Author

N J Nik Ruzyanei, S D Siti Hazrah, A Siti Nor Aizah, S Umi Adzlin, B Azlin

Institution

UKM Medical Centre

Abstract

Objectives: The time when cancer patients underwent treatment was recognized to be the most stressful for their family caregivers, predisposing the informal caregivers to depression. The objective of this study was to determine the rates of depressive disorders; and factors that predict the clinical depression in the caregivers of breast cancer patients during this period.

Methods: One hundred and thirty caregiver- patient dyads attending the oncology centre for breast cancer treatment participated in this cross- sectional study. The patients’ socio-demographic and illness characteristics were obtained. The caregivers completed Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and related variables. Subsequently, those with “probable depression” were administered The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview to diagnose depression.

Results: 17.7%(n=23) of the 130 caregivers were diagnosed to have depressive disorders, where 12.3%(n=16) had major depressive disorder and 5.4%(n=7) had dysthymic disorder. Depression was associated with ethnicity, duration of caregiving, the patients’ functional status and the caregivers’ education level (p<0.05). The patients’ functional status (p<0.05, OR= 0.23, CI=0.059 – 0.856) and the caregivers’ education level (p<0.05, OR = 9.30, CI=1.82 – 47.57) significantly predict depression among these caregivers using logistic regression.

Conclusion: Clinical depression among the caregivers of cancer patients was high. Depression in this subgroup is a complex interplay of the patients’ and the caregivers’ factors.