Screening for depression and anxiety in adolescent cancer patients

Leslie S. Kersun, Mary T. Rourke, Megan Mickley, Anne E. Kazak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The goals of this study were to evaluate the feasibility of depression and anxiety screening in on-therapy adolescents with cancer, determine the prevalence of depression and anxiety in this sample, and assess the concordance between patient and oncologist report of patient symptoms. Forty-one adolescents (ages 12 to 18y) undergoing cancer therapy in an outpatient oncology clinic completed the Beck Youth Inventory II (BYI II) Depression and Anxiety scales. Treating oncologists independently rated patient depression and anxiety. Ninety-eight percent of patients agreed to participate and average time to measure completion was <15 minutes. Mean T-scores for the BDI-Y (Depression module) and BAI-Y (Anxiety module) for most were not different than published norms. Three and 2 patients scored in the moderate-extremely elevated range of the BAI-Y and BDI-Y, respectively. There were no associations between scores and sex, age, diagnosis, time since diagnosis, or treatment intensity. A depression and anxiety-screening program is feasible in the outpatient pediatric oncology setting. Rates of adolescent self-reported anxiety and depression are low, although oncologists perceived more patient distress. This is an area for future investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-839
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Oncology
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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