Depression in adult survivors of childhood cancer 7 years later: Investigation of factors influencing their mental health over time
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Problem Statement: there is increasing recognition in the literature of a variety of long-term psychosocial consequences faced by childhood cancer survivors. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of depression in childhood cancer survivors and its change over time, and to identify individual-level characteristics associated with this change. Approach: 193 childhood cancer survivors (100 females and 93 males) participated in a two-wave study which measured presence of symptoms of depression using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, as well as their sociodemographic variables, satisfaction with life and experiences of significant life events. Statistical significance of change in prevalence of depression between the two study rounds was measured with McNemar's test, and variables that contributed to changing of depression over time were identified by multinominal logistic regression. Results: 33.7% of participants were identified as having (at least mild) depression in the first study round, and 36.3% in the second round; change in prevalence was not statically significant at p=0.05. Majority of participants did not change their depression status (23.8% remained depressed and 53.9% remained not depressed), 9.8% reported worsening of their mental health, and 12.4% were not depressed anymore in second study round. In comparison to participants that remained not depressed, those that became depressed at T2 more often lived in a rural area (OR=2.98, 95%CI 1.00-8.87) and had low satisfaction with life (OR=20.58, 95% CI 3.65-115.95). Variables that increased the odds of remaining depressed included: not being married/ in a relationship (OR=3.48, 95%CI 1.13-10.67), experiencing more negative life events (OR=1.09, 95%CI 1.00-1.19) and low satisfaction with life (OR=64.06, 95%CI 8.01-512.15). Conclusions/Recommendations: Future development of aftercare models for former oncological patients should include regular monitoring of not only physical health but also symptoms of mental health and sense of personal satisfaction with life.
British Journal of Medical and Health Sciences
Community Child Health