Prevalence of Depression in Gynecologic and Breast Cancer Patients


  • Heather Dorich University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy
  • Jayne Pawasauskas University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy
  • Britny Rogala University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy
  • Kate Lally Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute



Depression, Palliative care, Gynecology, Cancer



Depression has historically been an underdiagnosed and undertreated condition with a large impact on patient quality of life. Screening and diagnosis of depression may differ for various reasons, making proper diagnosis and treatment difficult.


In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed the associations between the prevalence of depression and patient-specific factors in gynecologic and breast cancer patients who had received a palliative care consult. This study was conducted in a single institution that specializes in women and infant care. The primary objective was to quantify the prevalence of depression among palliative care patients. The secondary objective was to determine patient specific factors associated with a diagnosis of depression.


Over the course of the one year inclusion period, a total of 73 patients met inclusion criteria. The prevalence of depression in this study was found to be 54.8%. A diagnosis of anxiety was associated with the presence of depression (77.5% vs 25%, p < 0. 0001). Cancer of the fallopian tube was also independently associated with depression (12. 5% vs 0, p = 0. 44).


The prevalence of depression for palliative care patients, specifically for patients with gynecologic and breast malignancies, in this study was higher than estimates of depression prevalence for the general population. The results of this study may indicate that a greater awareness of the need for screening and treatment of depression is necessary in this population, in order to properly diagnose and treat patients with depression.


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Author Biographies

Heather Dorich, University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy


Jayne Pawasauskas, University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy

Clinical Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice

Britny Rogala, University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice

Kate Lally, Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care

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How to Cite

Dorich, H., Pawasauskas, J., Rogala, B., & Lally, K. (2020). Prevalence of Depression in Gynecologic and Breast Cancer Patients. Journal of Student Research, 9(1).



Research Articles