Depression and anxiety are common emotional symptoms in patients with colorectal cancer and are frequently grouped under the term psychological distress.
This study aim was to identify how anxiety and depression in Saudi men with colorectal cancer changed from the time before surgery and for up to six months after, and to investigate whether specific variables predict initial levels and trajectories of anxiety and depression during the same period.
This descriptive, longitudinal study enrolled patients from Cancer Centers located in a six public hospitals. A total of 200 Saudi men with colorectal cancer agreed to participate and completed questionnaires prior to surgery, and at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 months after surgery. Descriptive statistics and hierarchical linear modeling were used for data analyses
Findings from this study suggest that more than a quarter of the patients (28%) reported pain in their abdomen prior to surgery. In addition, a significant percentage of men, regardless of pain status, experienced anxiety and depressive symptoms prior to surgery for colorectal cancer. However, both state anxiety and depression declined over the six month period following surgery. Despite the overall decline in state anxiety and depression, variance components suggested substantial interindividual variability in the patterns of adjustment. In contrast, characteristics with independent contributions were symptom characteristics and psychosocial adjustment characteristics.
Nurses may use this information to identify and educate high-risk patients about how anxiety and depression may change following surgery for colorectal cancer.