Depressive Symptoms and Associated Health-Related Variables in Older Adult Breast Cancer Survivors and Non-Cancer Controls

Min-So Paek

Shan S. Wong

Fang-Chi Hsu

Nancy E. Avis

Nora F. Fino

Clancy J. Clark

breast cancer, older adults, depressive symptoms, comparison, healthcare professionals
ONF 2021, 48(4), 412-422. DOI: 10.1188/21.ONF.412-422

Objectives: To examine the prevalence of depressive symptoms and associated risk factors in older adult breast cancer survivors (BCS) and age-matched non-cancer controls.

Sample & Setting: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results–Medicare Health Outcome Survey linked dataset from 1998 to 2012, BCS and non-cancer controls aged 65 years or older were identified.

Methods & Variables: Depressive symptoms, comorbidities, functional limitations, socio-demographics, and health-related information were examined. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression and marginal models were performed.

Results: 5,421 BCS and 21,684 controls were identified. BCS and non-cancer controls had similar prevalence of depressive symptoms. Having two or more comorbidities and functional limitations were strongly associated with elevated risk of depressive symptoms in BCS and non-cancer controls.

Implications for Nursing: Having multiple comorbidities and multiple functional status are key factors associated with depressive symptoms in older adult BCS and non-cancer controls. Nurses are in an ideal position to screen older adult BCS and non-cancer controls at risk for depressive symptoms.

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