Depression and anxiety among people living with and beyond cancer: a growing clinical and research priority

Claire L. Niedzwiedz, Lee Knifton, Kathryn A. Robb, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Daniel J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background
A cancer diagnosis can have a substantial impact on mental health and wellbeing. Depression and anxiety may hinder cancer treatment and recovery, as well as quality of life and survival. We argue that more research is needed to prevent and treat co-morbid depression and anxiety among people with cancer and that it requires greater clinical priority. For background and to support our argument, we synthesise existing systematic reviews relating to cancer and common mental disorders, focusing on depression and anxiety.

We searched several electronic databases for relevant reviews on cancer, depression and anxiety from 2012 to 2019. Several areas are covered: factors that may contribute to the development of common mental disorders among people with cancer; the prevalence of depression and anxiety; and potential care and treatment options. We also make several recommendations for future research. Numerous individual, psychological, social and contextual factors potentially contribute to the development of depression and anxiety among people with cancer, as well as characteristics related to the cancer and treatment received. Compared to the general population, the prevalence of depression and anxiety is often found to be higher among people with cancer, but estimates vary due to several factors, such as the treatment setting, type of cancer and time since diagnosis. Overall, there are a lack of high-quality studies into the mental health of people with cancer following treatment and among long-term survivors, particularly for the less prevalent cancer types and younger people. Studies that focus on prevention are minimal and research covering low- and middle-income populations is limited.

Conclusion
Research is urgently needed into the possible impacts of long-term and late effects of cancer treatment on mental health and how these may be prevented, as increasing numbers of people live with and beyond cancer.
LanguageEnglish
Article number943
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Cancer
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2019

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Anxiety
Depression
Research
Neoplasms
Mental Health
Mental Disorders
Therapeutics
Second Primary Neoplasms
Poverty
Survivors
Quality of Life
Databases
Psychology
Survival

Keywords

  • mental health
  • psychiatry
  • cancer
  • multimorbidity
  • depression
  • oncology
  • survivorship

Cite this

Niedzwiedz, Claire L. ; Knifton, Lee ; Robb, Kathryn A. ; Katikireddi, Srinivasa Vittal ; Smith, Daniel J. / Depression and anxiety among people living with and beyond cancer : a growing clinical and research priority. In: BMC Cancer. 2019 ; Vol. 19.
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Depression and anxiety among people living with and beyond cancer : a growing clinical and research priority. / Niedzwiedz, Claire L.; Knifton, Lee; Robb, Kathryn A.; Katikireddi, Srinivasa Vittal; Smith, Daniel J.

In: BMC Cancer, Vol. 19, 943, 11.10.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Depression and anxiety among people living with and beyond cancer

T2 - BMC Cancer

AU - Niedzwiedz, Claire L.

AU - Knifton, Lee

AU - Robb, Kathryn A.

AU - Katikireddi, Srinivasa Vittal

AU - Smith, Daniel J.

PY - 2019/10/11

Y1 - 2019/10/11

N2 - BackgroundA cancer diagnosis can have a substantial impact on mental health and wellbeing. Depression and anxiety may hinder cancer treatment and recovery, as well as quality of life and survival. We argue that more research is needed to prevent and treat co-morbid depression and anxiety among people with cancer and that it requires greater clinical priority. For background and to support our argument, we synthesise existing systematic reviews relating to cancer and common mental disorders, focusing on depression and anxiety.We searched several electronic databases for relevant reviews on cancer, depression and anxiety from 2012 to 2019. Several areas are covered: factors that may contribute to the development of common mental disorders among people with cancer; the prevalence of depression and anxiety; and potential care and treatment options. We also make several recommendations for future research. Numerous individual, psychological, social and contextual factors potentially contribute to the development of depression and anxiety among people with cancer, as well as characteristics related to the cancer and treatment received. Compared to the general population, the prevalence of depression and anxiety is often found to be higher among people with cancer, but estimates vary due to several factors, such as the treatment setting, type of cancer and time since diagnosis. Overall, there are a lack of high-quality studies into the mental health of people with cancer following treatment and among long-term survivors, particularly for the less prevalent cancer types and younger people. Studies that focus on prevention are minimal and research covering low- and middle-income populations is limited.ConclusionResearch is urgently needed into the possible impacts of long-term and late effects of cancer treatment on mental health and how these may be prevented, as increasing numbers of people live with and beyond cancer.

AB - BackgroundA cancer diagnosis can have a substantial impact on mental health and wellbeing. Depression and anxiety may hinder cancer treatment and recovery, as well as quality of life and survival. We argue that more research is needed to prevent and treat co-morbid depression and anxiety among people with cancer and that it requires greater clinical priority. For background and to support our argument, we synthesise existing systematic reviews relating to cancer and common mental disorders, focusing on depression and anxiety.We searched several electronic databases for relevant reviews on cancer, depression and anxiety from 2012 to 2019. Several areas are covered: factors that may contribute to the development of common mental disorders among people with cancer; the prevalence of depression and anxiety; and potential care and treatment options. We also make several recommendations for future research. Numerous individual, psychological, social and contextual factors potentially contribute to the development of depression and anxiety among people with cancer, as well as characteristics related to the cancer and treatment received. Compared to the general population, the prevalence of depression and anxiety is often found to be higher among people with cancer, but estimates vary due to several factors, such as the treatment setting, type of cancer and time since diagnosis. Overall, there are a lack of high-quality studies into the mental health of people with cancer following treatment and among long-term survivors, particularly for the less prevalent cancer types and younger people. Studies that focus on prevention are minimal and research covering low- and middle-income populations is limited.ConclusionResearch is urgently needed into the possible impacts of long-term and late effects of cancer treatment on mental health and how these may be prevented, as increasing numbers of people live with and beyond cancer.

KW - mental health

KW - psychiatry

KW - cancer

KW - multimorbidity

KW - depression

KW - oncology

KW - survivorship

U2 - 10.1186/s12885-019-6181-4

DO - 10.1186/s12885-019-6181-4

M3 - Article

VL - 19

JO - BMC Cancer

JF - BMC Cancer

SN - 1471-2407

M1 - 943

ER -