Purpose: This study assessed whether empirically supported risk factors can identify future depression and anxiety symptoms in a specific cancer type, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Methods: Patients enrolled in a CLL treatment clinical trial (N = 106) participated at baseline following informed consent and prior to treatment initiation. Risk factors with empirical support (personal or family psychiatric history, recurrent, advanced or progressive disease, low socioeconomic status, gender, medical comorbidities, and single marital status) and additional risk factors (cancer-specific stress, social contacts, negative life events, absolute lymphocyte counts, treatment group, and fatigue) were measured at baseline to predict depression and anxiety symptoms at 12 months. Results: Data show 14% (n = 15) and 12% (n = 13) of patients experienced moderate-severe depression and anxiety symptoms, respectively. Multiple linear regression analyses found medical comorbidities predicted 12-month anxiety symptoms (p < 0.05). Also, negative life events predicted depression and anxiety symptoms and fatigue predicted depression symptoms (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Empirically supported risk factors associated with depression and anxiety symptoms are limited in predicting future depression and anxiety symptoms beyond initial screening in patients with CLL. In addition to levels of depression and anxiety symptoms at baseline, negative life events, higher levels of fatigue, and greater medical comorbidities were associated with future depression or anxiety symptoms in patients with CLL.
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