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Memory processes and the course of anxiety and depression in cancer patients

Brewin, CR; Watson, M; McCarthy, S; Hyman, P; Dayson, D; (1998) Memory processes and the course of anxiety and depression in cancer patients. PSYCHOL MED , 28 (1) 219 - 224.

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Abstract

Background. Intrusive memories of stressful events, many involving illness and death, are found in a minority of depressed cancer patients, and may predict the course of anxiety and depression.Method. Matched samples of mild to moderately depressed and non-depressed cancer patients were followed up after 6 months. Anxiety and depression at follow-up were related to measures of intrusive memories of stressful life events and autobiographical memory functioning that had been assessed at baseline.Results. Levels of anxiety and depression remained fairly constant over time in the two groups, and the depressed group continued to experience high levels of intrusive memories. The presence of intrusive memories at baseline, and the extent to which these memories were consciously avoided, predicted greater anxiety at follow-up, even after controlling for initial severity of physical and psychiatric symptoms. None of the measures of memory functioning predicted levels of depression at follow-up.Conclusions. Intrusive memories appear to be a marker of more prolonged psychopathology in cancer patients and may respond to direct therapeutic intervention.

Type: Article
Title: Memory processes and the course of anxiety and depression in cancer patients
Keywords: AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORY, INTRUSIVE MEMORIES, HOSPITAL ANXIETY, SCALE, DISORDERS, AVOIDANCE, DISTRESS, STRESS, ABUSE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/125426
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