Background: The aim was to evaluate and correlate anxiety and depression levels with response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. The study also assessed the effects of family support on distress levels.
Design: It was a prospective study in a cohort of 84 patients with locally advanced breast cancer. These assessments were done using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
Setting: A prospective study in a developing world setting.
Participants: Eighty-four patients with locally advanced breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy were included after taking an informed consent and ethical committee clearance.
Main outcome measures: A significant correlation was observed between response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and depression levels in breast cancer patients. Joint family and literacy levels also had an impact on the levels of depression observed.
Results: A total of 84 patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer were evaluated using HADS. The effect of family support, literacy levels and employment on the psychological status of these patients were also assessed.
Conclusions: The response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy had a direct correlation with the levels of depression, the distress levels being lower in responders. This was found to be the most important variable determining the psychological status of the patients. It was also observed that Indian patients in comparison to their Western counterparts react differently to cancer-related stress.