, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 23-28

Relationship of depression to patient satisfaction: findings from the barriers to breast cancer study

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Objective: Examine the association between depressive symptoms and patient satisfaction for older women with a diagnosis of breast cancer. Methods: Prospective study of 210 women aged 65 or older from southeast Texas newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Baseline (<2 months after diagnosis) and 12 month follow-up interviews were conducted face-to-face to collect information on sociodemographic characteristics, physical and emotional health, use of health services and satisfaction with medical care. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, χ 2 analysis, and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: Average age at baseline interview was 71.8 years (SD 6.6). The sample was 70.5% non-Hispanic white, 61.0% were unmarried, and 85.2% reported no ADL limitations. Logistic regression analysis showed a significant association between increasing depressive symptoms at baseline and lower patient satisfaction at follow-up. Each unit increase in depressive symptoms at baseline was associated with a 6% decrease in the predicted odds of being “very satisfied” with medical care at follow up (OR=0.94, 95% CI=0.89, 0.99), after adjusting for age, marital status, race/ethnicity, stage of diagnosis and other relevant factors. Similarly, patients who had an increase in CES-D score between baseline and follow-up interview were less likely to be satisfied with their medical care at follow up. Conclusion: Increasing depressive symptoms are associated with lower patient satisfaction. Early recognition and treatment of depressive symptoms may improve patients’ well being and perception about quality of medical care.