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Gulhane Med J. 2011; 53(4): 248-253

Depression status and the factors affecting the quality of life in the relatives of the patients with cancer

Selma Çivi (*), Ruhuşen Kutlu (*), Hasan Hüseyin Çelik (**).

This cross-sectional, analytic study was conducted to investigate the depression
and factors affecting the quality of life in the relatives of the patients with cancer.
The sample of the study consisted of 110 relatives of the cancer patients
who were treated at the Department of Medical Oncology of Meram Medical
Faculty of Selçuk University. WHOQOL-Bref’s scale of quality of life was used
to measure the patients’ quality of life. Depression status was evaluated with
Beck depression inventory. Of the interviewers, 53.6% were male, 46.4%
female, 86.4% married, 55.5% primary school educated, and the mean age was
47.3±13.5 years and 44.5% were the offsprings of the cancer patients. The
mean value of Beck depresyon inventory was 8.0±7.7. According to the values
of the inventory, 65.5% were normal, 24.5% mildly, 7.3% moderately and 2.7%
severely depressed. The gender, occupation, education and marital status of the
relatives of the cancer patients did not affect the depression status (p>0.05).
When we compared the quality of life scores and depression status, there were
significant differences in psychological health (p=0.000), perception of overall
health and the satisfaction from life (p=0.002), general health and the quality of
life (p=0.008), physical health (p=0.001) and environmental area (p=0.025)
while there was no statistically significant difference in social relationships
(p=0.089) between the cases with and without depression. Cancer is an
important health problem for both the cancer patients and their relatives. The
relatives of cancer patients would inevitably be affected by the cancer patients
psychologically. Anxiety and depression are the major concerns in these cases,
and empathic approach of physicians and health care personnel is necessary to
cope with these problems.

Key words: Depression, relatives of the patients with cancer, quality of life

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