All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Allyson G Hall

Advisory Committee Members

Soumya J Niranjan

Jessica H Williams

Lori Bateman

Raegan Durant

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2023

Abstract

Patients diagnosed with cancer experience depression and anxiety at higher rates compared to the general population. Most individuals diagnosed with cancer will experience symptoms of depression and anxiety at some point during their cancer trajectory and not seek care leaving their mental health conditions undiagnosed and untreated, which impact quality of life and cancer outcomes. Patient and providers perspectives are vital to understand the manifestation, care-seeking behaviors, and provider management of depression and anxiety in patients with cancer. This study sought to explore the manifestation of depression and anxiety among patients with cancer and their care seeking behaviors for mental health treatment. It also sought to explore how providers understand and manage depression and anxiety in patients with cancer. This study employed a qualitative approach. Ten patients and five healthcare providers were recruited to participate in semi-structure, in-depth interviews. Thematic analysis was conducted to code data and identify themes. how oncology providers understand and manage depression and anxiety in patients with cancer. Six themes emerged from the data including: patient and providers understanding of the manifestation of depression and anxiety, barriers to care-seeking for mental health, facilitators to care-seeking for mental health care, provider management of depression and anxiety, role of religion/faith, and recommendations for optimal mental health care. Patient’s severity of symptoms/behavioral changes, support system, religion, and culture influence their care-seeking behaviors. Keywords: cancer, depression and anxiety, manifestation in patients, care-seeking behavior, provider management, metal health care

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