Background: Cancer has been known as a class of dangerous diseases which cause tremendous physical and emotional problems to both patients and their families. In spite of medical advances, cancer is still considered to be equal with death and pain. This study aims to analyze the emotional distress and the causes in breast cancer patients.
Methods: This study was a quantitative study which tries to analyze the emotional distress in 82 breast cancer patients referred to the Radiotherapy and Oncology Department of Razi Hospital in Rasht, northern Iran. In this study, the emotional distress is analyzed based on a standard questionnaire which contains demographic information, distress thermometer, and a section devoted to the probable causes.
Results: Among the 82 patients that participated in this study, 32 patients (39%) suffered from severe emotional distress which had a statistically significant relationship (p<0.009) with the functional status of the patients. Taking care of children, fear, anxiety, difficulties of taking bath and wearing clothes, family problems, fever and nasal dryness are the most common issued related to emotional distress.
Conclusion: Emotional distress can affect the quality of life of breast cancer patients. Therefore, oncology specialists should utilize mental health services to improve their patients’ mental health as well as to control the consequences of the disease.
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