Risk factors for early postoperative psychological problems in breast cancer patients after axillary lymph node dissection.


Division of Physical Therapy, Kochi Professional University of Rehabilitation, Otu-1139-3, Takaoka-Machi, Tosa, 781-1102, Kochi, Japan. [Email]


BACKGROUND : The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors related to early postoperative psychological conditions in breast cancer patients with axillary lymph node dissection 3 months after the surgery.
METHODS : The subjects of this study were 200 consecutive patients who underwent axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer at our hospital. Age, body mass index, surgical side, work, marriage, presence of children, presence of co-resident household members, resection of the pectoralis minor muscle, preoperative chemotherapy, postoperative chemotherapy, postoperative hormonal therapy, postoperative radiotherapy, shoulder range of motion, upper limb function (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand; DASH), and psychological conditions were evaluated. In this study, a Distress and Impact Thermometer was used to classify patients with adjustment disorders, depression, or major depression and suicidal ideation into a group with psychological problems and the remaining patients into a group with no psychological problems.
RESULTS : Logistic regression analysis showed that only DASH was statistically significantly associated with psychological conditions (p < 0.05). Using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, a DASH score of 18 or greater was found to be very specific for predicting psychological conditions.
CONCLUSIONS : The observation that somatic symptoms and disability of upper limb function are related to psychological conditions may indicate the importance of postoperative rehabilitation in breast cancer patients with axillary lymph node dissection.


Breast cancer,Chemotherapy,Psychological condition,Rehabilitation,Upper limb function,

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