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Cancer patients with past mood disorders most at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Most breast cancer patients aren't at significant risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of their diagnosis and treatment, a new study suggests.

Patients who are most at risk appear to be those who suffered from mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, before they were diagnosed with cancer. The study found that 75 percent of breast cancer patients with PTSD had previous mood disorders.

"PTSD does occur in breast cancer patients, but not at greater rates than other psychiatric problems such as depression," said Deanna Golden-Kreutz, co-author of the study and a research associate in psychology at Ohio State University.

The findings suggest doctors shouldn't focus on PTSD when evaluating cancer patients for psychological problems, said study co-author Barbara Andersen, a professor of psychology at Ohio State.

"It's important to screen cancer patients for all kinds of depressive and anxiety symptoms and disorders, particularly asking about the past history of mood disorders," Andersen said.

The researchers presented their findings August 23 in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the
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Contact: Deanna Golden Kreutz
Golden-kreutz.1@osu.edu
614-292-5170
Ohio State University
23-Aug-2002


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