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Prevalence and factors associated with depression and anxiety among cancer patients seeking treatment at Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in Rwanda

Samuel Habimana 1*†, Emmanuel Biracyaza 2,3†, Tharcisse Mpunga4*, Epaphrodite NSABIMANA5, Florence Kaitesi 6, Pascal Nzamwita 6, & Jansen Stefan7

1Rwanda Resilience and Grounding Organization, Kigali, Rwanda

2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

3Prison Fellowship Rwanda (PFR), Kigali, Rwanda

4Rwanda Ministry of Health, Government of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

5Hope & Homes for Children, Kigali, Rwanda

6AIDS Health Care Foundation, Kigali, Rwanda

7 Center for Research and Innovation, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

Correspondence to: Emmanuel Biracyaza, Email: biracyazaemmaus@gmail.com, Tel: +250785686886 or Samuel Habimana, Email: samhabimana78@gmail.com, Tel: +1(909) 893-0970


Introduction: Depression and anxiety among cancer patients are public health concerns worldwide. Studies on the prevalence and factors associated with depression and anxiety among cancer patients are limited. This study determined the prevalence and factors of depression and anxiety among cancer patients in Rwanda’s inpatient and outpatient settings.

Methods: Cross-sectional study was conducted among 425 cancer patients fromButaro Cancer Center of Excellence, Rwanda. Socio-demographic and psychometric instruments were administered among participants. We employed bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models to assess associated factors of anxiety and depression.

Results: Prevalence of depression and anxiety was 42.6% and 40.9%, respectively. Cancer patients initiated to chemotherapy had less likelihood to be depressive [OR=2.06;95%CI (1.11-3.79), p=0.021] than those initiated to chemotherapy and counseling. Patients with breast cancer had greater odds of experiencing depression [OR=2.07,95%CI (1.01-4.22)] than those with Hodgikins’s Lymphoma cancer. Patients with depression had greater odds of developing anxiety [OR=1.76, 95%CI(1.01-3.05),p=0.046] than those with no depression. Depressive patients had greater odds to have anxiety [OR=1.76;95%CI(1.01-3.05),p=0.046)].

Conclusion: Considering psycho-oncology therapies and enhancing clinical monitoring and treatments of anxiety and depression need to be prioritized for attenuating depression and anxiety.

Key-words: Cancer; Depression; Anxiety; Cancer patient; Oncology


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