Depressive symptomatology among Latina breast cancer survivors

Psychooncology. 2013 Apr;22(4):845-53. doi: 10.1002/pon.3084. Epub 2012 Apr 30.


Objective: Healthcare professionals are providing care for a growing number of Latinas who are breast cancer survivors (BCS) and at greater risk for distress. This study reports on the prevalence of depressive symptomatology among a cohort of Latina BCS.

Methods: This study reports the outcomes of a population-based sample of 232 Latina BCS recruited via case ascertainment from the California-Cancer and hospital registries.

Results: Fifty-three percent had elevated depressive symptoms. In the regression model, education, physical functioning, social support, family stress, functional stress, social functioning, and Spanish language preference were significantly associated with depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: Among Latina BCS, the prevalence of depressed mood may be higher than European-Americans and presents a formidable clinical challenge. These findings underscore the need for timely, appropriate assessment of distress and its contributing factors including patients' socio-ecological contexts and family strain to inform effective patient-centered and family-centered psychosocial referrals and intervention strategies to reduce distress and the undue burden of cancer among Latinos. Latino survivors constitute an increasing proportion of patients in community medical practices. Thus, the requisite to perform follow-up cancer care that addresses the needs of the whole person is rapidly emerging in prominence as a component of medical practice. Therefore, primary care providers and oncology and mental health specialists must work collaboratively via the sharing of electronic medical records, survivorship care plans, and consultations to implement the Institute of Medicine and National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommendations by attending to the psychological status of cancer patients to optimize patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult