Exploring clinical determinants and anxiety symptom domains among Asian breast cancer patients.

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer

PubMedID: 23475194

Cheung YT, Lee HH, Chan A. Exploring clinical determinants and anxiety symptom domains among Asian breast cancer patients. Support Care Cancer. 2013;21(8):2185-94.
PURPOSE
Psychological distress, such as anxiety, is commonly experienced by breast cancer patients. This study was designed to evaluate the presentation of anxiety symptom domains among Asian breast cancer patients and to identify clinical factors that were associated with occurrence of anxiety.

METHODS
An observational study was conducted between August 2009 and January 2012. Breast cancer patients (stages I to III) with different chemotherapy treatment status completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) to evaluate the prevalence and severity of their anxiety symptoms. Demographical and clinical data were collected. Multiple linear regression was conducted to delineate clinical factors associated with anxiety.

RESULTS
A total of 319 patients were recruited (age: 51 ± 9 years; 80.9 % Chinese; 69.6 % stage I/II). The median BAI total score was 8 (IQR, 4-14). Anxiety severities varied greatly across patients with different chemotherapy treatment status: patients who were receiving concurrent chemotherapy at the point of assessment (n = 161) experienced more severe anxiety symptoms, as compared to pre-chemotherapy receiving (n = 78) patients and post-chemotherapy (n = 88) patients (29.8 % vs. 9.0 % vs. 20 %, respectively; p = 0.021). Regression model identified fatigue (p < 0.001) and the concurrent receipt of chemotherapy (p < 0.001) as the strongest factors associated with anxiety. Concomitant neuropsychiatric medicines (antidepressants, anxiolytics, and hypnotics) were moderately associated with anxiety occurrence.

CONCLUSIONS
This is the largest series to date to evaluate anxiety symptom domains among Asian breast cancer patients. Results suggest that toxicities of chemotherapy may have contributed to the presentation of anxiety symptoms.