Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic has generated global mental health crisis. It has resulted in new sources of anxiety and depression among breast cancer patients. This study aimed to evaluate the anxiety and depression in Tunisian breast cancer patients.
Methods We conducted an observational study between January and May 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Symptoms of anxiety and depression in cancer patients were screened using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). We present preliminary results of a large study. Twenty patients replied to this survey until now.
Results Mean age of interviewed patients was 47 years [30–67 years]. Eleven patients (55%) had metastatic disease. We reported 14 complete/partial responses (70%), 3 stable diseases (15%) and 3 progressive diseases (15%). About marital status, 14 (70%) were married, 2 (10%) divorced, 41(5%) widowed and 3 (15%) were single. Five women (25%) wanted to see a psychiatrist. The incidence of depression was 35% (7/20). Six patients (86%) had mild depression and one patient (14%) moderate depression. The incidence of anxiety was 25% (5/20). of those patients, 3 (60%) were experiencing mild anxiety, one patient (20%) moderate anxiety and one (20%) severe anxiety. There were no correlations between anxiety or depression and age, educational or socioeconomic level, marital status, breast cancer stage and treatment delays during COVID.
Conclusions This study showed high rates of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. A psychological care should be offered to breast cancer patients.
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