Depression, anxiety, and quality of life in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2000 Sep;78(3 Pt 1):302-8. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2000.5908.


Objective: The aims of this study were to evaluate psychological distress and quality of life (QOL) in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and to examine the relationship between these problems and health and demographic variables.

Methods: Of 344 consecutive patients identified, 246 completed questionnaires. Four dimensions of QOL were assessed including physical, functional, emotional, and social/family well-being, as well as concerns specific to ovarian cancer patients. Depression was measured with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale and anxiety was measured by the State Anxiety Subscale of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Performance status was evaluated by the Zubrod score.

Results: Sixty-five patients (26%) had early stage disease; 181 (74%) had advanced disease. One hundred twenty-one patients (49%) were under active treatment, while 124 (51%) were seen for posttherapy surveillance. Forty-eight (21%) met CES-D cutoff criteria for a clinical evaluation for depression, and 29% scored above the 75th percentile for anxiety. Performance status was related to depression, anxiety, and QOL problems, except in the domain of social well-being.

Conclusions: Clinically significant depression and anxiety may be more prevalent in patients with EOC than previously reported. Future studies of screening for and treating psychological distress are being designed to improve QOL in these women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires