Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 3347–3355 | Cite as

Illness perception is a strong parameter on anxiety and depression scores in early-stage breast cancer survivors: a single-center cross-sectional study of Turkish patients

  • Tulay KusEmail author
  • Gokmen Aktas
  • Hatice Ekici
  • Gulcin Elboga
  • Sabire Djamgoz
Original Article



Illness perception has been suggested to have a significant effect on anxiety and depression in cancer patients. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to evaluate this on Turkish breast cancer patients with follow-up periods up to 12 years.

Patients and methods

A total of 225 patients (with 6 months to 12 years follow-up) were recruited in this cross-sectional study. The patients were divided into three groups of follow-up: 6 months–2 years, 2–5 years, and >5 years. Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Duke–University of North Carolina Functional Social Support Questionnaire, and Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire were used to assess the depression, anxiety, functional social support (FSS), and illness perception, respectively. Statistical significance of the associations was analyzed using Spearman correlation, Student’s t, Mann–Whitney U, and ANOVA tests.


Rates of moderate–severe anxiety and depression scores were not correlated with follow-up period and disease stage, whereas all these parameters were associated significantly with FSS and age. Parameters of illness perception were also not correlated with follow-up period and stage of disease. However, illness perception scores were noticeably better with increments in FSS. Also, the parameters of illness perception were strongly associated with the depression/anxiety score.


Illness perception is an important determinant of the depression/anxiety score in Turkish breast cancer patients.


Anxiety Depression Illness perception Social support Breast cancer 


Compliance with ethical standards

The protocol and informed consent documentation were reviewed and approved by the Independent Ethics Committee of the University and agreed with the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tulay Kus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gokmen Aktas
    • 1
  • Hatice Ekici
    • 2
  • Gulcin Elboga
    • 3
  • Sabire Djamgoz
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Gaziantep Oncology HospitalUniversity of GaziantepGaziantepTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Psychological Counseling and GuidanceNear East UniversityNicosiaTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryErsin Arslan Training and Research HospitalGaziantepTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Psychological Counseling and GuidancePro Cancer Research FundLondonUK

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