Background: Few studies have examined psychological distress and its relationship with quality of life (QL) dimensions in colorectal cancer patients.
Methods: One hundred and twenty-eight outpatients were given psychological tests for anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HADS) and QL The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Questionnaire C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) on the same occasion. The association between the patients' emotional function (EF) scoring on EORTC QLQ-C30 and their HADS scores was analyzed by multiple linear regression.
Results: Statistically significant negative relationships were found between EF and HADS-A (anxiety), HADS-D (depression), and HADS-T (total score), respectively, with the highest correlation coefficient being for HADS-A. However, HADS-D was significantly more highly correlated than HADS-A to other QL dimensions, and depression was more highly correlated than anxiety with reduced QL.
Conclusion: The EF dimension of the EORTC QLQ-C30 predominantly assesses anxiety. Depression has a stronger impact on the global QL of patients than anxiety; therefore, the use of an additional instrument is recommended for the assessment of depression in outpatients with colorectal cancer.