Do prostate cancer patients suffer more from depressed mood or anhedonia?

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Journal Article

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Sharpley, C., Bitsika, V., & Christie, D. (2012). Do prostate cancer patients suffer more from depressed mood or anhedonia? Psycho-Oncology, 1-6.

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2012 HERDC submission. FoR code: 170106

© Copyright John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2012




Objective: This study aimed to compare the prevalence of depressed mood and anhedonia in a sample of men with prostate cancer (PCa) and to determine which of these key symptoms contributed most to the overall depressive status of that sample.

Method: From Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) responses collected on 526 PCa patients, direct comparisons were made between the prevalence of the first two DSM-IV-TR symptoms of Major Depressive Episode. These symptoms were then tested for their predictive power on depression total score and Zung’s criteria for ‘clinically significant’ depression.

Results: Mean scores for anhedonia were significantly higher than for depressed mood, and nearly 25 times as many patients had a high score for anhedonia as for depressed mood. The same pattern of results was apparent for those patients who had clinically significant levels of depression. Anhedonia was a more powerful predictor of total SDS depression score for the entire sample as well as for those patients with more severe depression.

Conclusion: Because the biological basis for anhedonia is different to that for depressed mood, treatment options also differ for patients who show a preponderance of anhedonia in their depressive symptomatology. Suggestions are made for treatment choices for these PCa patients.

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This document has been peer reviewed.