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Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem

Print version ISSN 0104-1169

Abstract

PAULA, Juliana Maria de et al. Symptoms of depression in patients with cancer of the head and neck undergoing radiotherapy treatment: a prospective study. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.2, pp. 362-368. ISSN 0104-1169.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-11692012000200020.

This study aimed to investigate the frequency of symptoms of depression in patients with cancer of the head and neck undergoing radiotherapy treatment, in the initial, middle and final stages of the treatment. This is a prospective exploratory quantitative study of 41 patients with head and neck cancer, undergoing radiotherapy treatment in the Oncology Outpatient Clinic of the Beneficência Portuguese Hospital of Ribeirão Preto. Data were collected through the Beck Depression Inventory instrument, and analyzed quantitatively by means of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Symptoms of dysphoria were found to increase throughout the treatment, as well as the number of patients with depression. The results show the importance for the healthcare professionals to detect the prevalence and the levels of the symptoms of depression, since these symptoms tend to increase and may lead to consequences such as a lack of adherence to treatment and a decrease in the quality of life of these patients.

Keywords : Radiotherapy; Depression; Head and Neck Neoplasms.

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