Elderly cancer patients: Correlates of depressive symptomatology

Victoria H. Raveis, Daniel G. Karus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As more elderly people experience a cancer diagnosis and live longer, the psychological sequelae of the disease and its treatment increasingly becomes a central concern. Cancer and its treatment are likely to present significant adaptive challenges to the elderly. Knowledge of the correlates of depressive symptoms in older patients may help to identify patients who are at increased risk for co-morbid depression and to inform the development of programs and services that can help reduce depressive symptoms. Data from 169 outpatients with cancer (aged 60 to 86 years) were included in an analysis to estimate a model of patients’ depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. The results of regression analyses indicated that a college degree and a lesser impact of the disease on patients’ social functioning correlated with lower depression and that feeling separated or set apart from others and a wider range of negative interactions with one’s support network correlated with greater depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-77
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Cancer
  • Cancer treatment
  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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