Background: Various risk factors for depression in lung cancer patients have been suggested but have been examined separately in studies with relatively small sample sizes. The present study examined the biopsychosocial risk factors of depression in lung cancer patients, focusing on psychological factors in the largest patient sample reported to date.
Patients and methods: A total of 1334 consecutively recruited lung cancer patients were selected, and data on cancer-related variables, personal characteristics, health behaviors, physical symptoms, and psychological factors were obtained. The participants were divided into groups with or without depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
Results: Among the recruited patients, 165 (12.4%) manifested depression. The results of a binary logistic regression analysis were significant (overall R2, 36.5%), and a greater risk for depression was strongly associated with psychological factors, such as personality characteristics (neuroticism) and coping style (low fighting spirit, helplessness/hopelessness, and anxious preoccupation). Although the contributions of cancer-related variables, personal characteristics, health behaviors, and clinical state were relatively low, cancer stage, cancer type, sex, and age correlated significantly with depression.
Conclusion: Depression was most strongly linked with personality traits and coping style, and using screening instruments to identify these factors may be useful for preventive interventions.