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Financial Stress Impacts Breast Cancer Anxiety

Financial Stress Impacts Breast Cancer Anxiety  A new study discovers women with modest to low incomes are at risk of becoming anxious and depressed after a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a precancerous breast condition.

The research is published online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study suggests that women with financial hardship may benefit from psychosocial interventions that are designed to accommodate their unique needs.

While research suggests that education and financial status, also known as socioeconomic status, can affect mental and physical health, few studies have examined its impact on psychological adjustment following a major stressor such as being diagnosed with a potentially serious medical condition.

To investigate, Janet de Moor, MPH, PhD, of The Ohio State University College of Public Health and colleagues looked at whether socioeconomic status affects the development of feelings of anxiety and depression in women after they are diagnosed with DCIS.

The investigators also explored whether social support might impact the effects of socioeconomic status on distress in these women.

During the study, 487 women with newly diagnosed DCIS completed questions about sociodemographic, psychosocial, and clinical characteristics at the time of enrollment and again nine months after their diagnosis.

The researchers found that financial status was inversely associated with distress at the nine-month followup point: Women with financial hardship reported higher levels of anxiety and depression than women with no financial hardship.

Financial status also predicted change in anxiety and depression. Women with medium to high levels of financial hardship reported an increase in their feelings of anxiety and depression during the study period, while women with no financial hardship reported a decrease in their feelings of anxiety and depression over time.

In addition, the probability of exhibiting signs of clinical depression increased with increasing financial hardship.

The researchers noted that a woman’s education level did not appear to have an impact on whether she developed anxiety or depression.

Also, the presence of social support did not explain the association between financial status and change in distress, and social support did not buffer the effect of low socioeconomic status on anxiety and depression.

“Women with medium or low socioeconomic status are forced to manage competing stressors: the stress of financial hardship and the stress of a major health event,” said Dr. de Moor.

“Because these concomitant stressors leave women vulnerable to escalating distress after their DCIS diagnosis, women with medium or low financial status may benefit from psychosocial interventions.”

Source: American Cancer Society

Financial Stress Impacts Breast Cancer Anxiety

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Financial Stress Impacts Breast Cancer Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/02/09/financial-stress-impacts-breast-cancer-anxiety/11290.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.