The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on the Psychological Distress of Breast Cancer Patients in Kolkata"

Arunima Datta, Rimi Sharma


Background: Breast cancer patients experience a variety of psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression that affect their quality of life. The present study probed whether the socioeconomic status had any significance on psychological distress and quality of life of breast cancer patients in India. 

Method: This was a cross-sectional and observational study, conducted over 111 breast cancer patients in a tertiary cancer hospital, Kolkata. Subjects were eligible to participate and they were of over 23rd years of age and had a histologically confirmed diagnosis of breast cancer had no history of recurrence or metastasis, and had no previous psychological problems. Age, marital status, residence, education, occupation and family income were assesses for patients’ socio economic status. Psychological symptoms and quality of life were assessed by using validated tools. Means and standard deviations of each outcome were compared by socioeconomic status and multivariate linear regression models for evaluating the association between socioeconomic status, psychological distress and quality of life

Results: The patient group was categorized into three groups based on their income level as follows:  ≤500=27.9%), 500-1000=51.4% and high income = ≥1000=20.7%. A total of 111 breast cancer patients participated in the study; the mean age of participants was 49.7 (SE=1.31).  After using multivariate logistic regression with fully adjusted models, the patients who were living alone had significantly higher level of depression and poor quality of life compared to those who are employed. Higher education  and family income  both positively associated with quality of life after adjusting for age, marital status and occupation. 

Conclusion: The findings revealed that the family income have a significant impact on the psychological distress of the cancer patients.


Breast Cancer; Psychological Factors; Scioeconomic

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