Emotional Suppression and Depressive Symptoms in Women Newly Diagnosed With Early Breast Cancer

Lingyan Li; Yanjie Yang; Jincai He; Jinyao Yi; Yuping Wang; Jinqiang Zhang; Xiongzhao Zhu

Disclosures

BMC Womens Health. 2015;15(91) 

In This Article

Results

Demographic Data

Table 1 showed demographic characteristics of each group. There was no statistically significant difference between patients and healthy women in demographic variables except for the employment status.

Descriptive Statistics

Table 2 showed the descriptive statistics for depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms and emotional suppression. The mean (SD) score of CES-D in patients was 21.58 (9.82). More than one third (36.4 %) of the patients had scores of 16 or higher, and 36.0 % reported scores of 27 or higher. The mean (SD) score of CES-D in healthy women was 14.90 (6.65). About 34.8 % of the healthy women had scores of 16 or higher, and only 5.2 % of them had scores of 27 or higher. The total CES-D scores were significantly different between two groups (p < 0.001; Cohen's d = 0.80). The prevalence of three levels of depressive symptoms were significantly different between two groups (χ 2 = 111.530; p < 0.001); patients had lower incidence rate of no depressive symptoms and higher rate of severe depressive symptoms.

The total BAI scores were significantly different between two groups (p < 0.001; Cohen's d = 0.92). Significant differences on three emotional suppression tendencies and total emotional suppression were found between patients and healthy women (p < 0.001; Cohen's d ranged from 0.51 to 0.77).

Bivariate Correlations Between Variables

We examined the relationships between age, years of schooling, emotional suppression, anxiety symptoms and depressive symptoms, and Pearson correlation coefficients and Spearman correlation coefficient were presented in Table 3. Age was not significantly correlated with other variables (p > 0.05). Years of schooling was significantly negatively correlated with emotional suppression tendencies, and Spearman correlation coefficients ranged from −0.10 to −0.18 (p < 0.05). Pearson correlation coefficients between the three subscales of CECS ranged from 0.55 to 0.64 (p < 0.01).

Emotional suppression tendencies were found to be significantly positively correlated with depressive symptoms and anxiety symptoms. Pearson correlation coefficients between CECS subscales and depressive symptoms ranged from 0.50 to 0.66 (p < 0.01) while Pearson correlation coefficients between CECS subscales and anxiety symptoms ranged from 0.39 to 0.54 (p < 0.01). Anxiety symptoms were significantly positively correlated with depressive symptoms (p < 0.01).

Hierarchical Regression Analyses

In order to further explore the effect of the three emotional suppression tendencies on depressive symptoms in women with breast cancer, multiple regression analyses were performed based on the correlation; the results were shown in Table 4. The regression equation for model 1 was significant when group membership (1 = patients, 2 = controls) was the sole predictor of depressive symptoms (F = 100.303, p < 0.001). The regression equation for model 2 was also significant when anxiety symptoms were entered (F = 404.997, p < 0.001). The final model was significant when emotional suppression tendencies were entered (F = 230.751, p < 0.001), with a R2 change of 0.085, indicating that emotional suppression accounted for 8.5 % of the variance of depressive symptoms after controlling the effects of group membership and levels of anxiety symptoms. However, the regression coefficient was not significant for depression suppression and anxiety suppression, whereas anger suppression had significant effect on depressive symptoms among breast cancer patients (p < 0.05).

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