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Abstract

Objectives: Depression and anxiety are the most common mental symptoms in patients with thyroid cancer (DTC) and have an important influence on the quality of life. The aim of the current study was to identify protective factors of depression and anxiety in DTC patients. Methods: In a cross-sectional study 230 DTC patients were examined with Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D), the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC-13) and the Questionnaire of Social Support (F-SOZU). Results: Depression correlated highly significantly with anxiety (r = .633, p = 0,001). Social support and sense of coherence correlated highly significantly negative with depression as well as with anxiety (both p 0,001). Although still significant, the correlation between age and anxiety was lower (r = -.19; p 0,005). The TSH level as an indicator of hypothyreodism did not correlate with depression or with anxiety on a significant statistical level. Furthermore, variables such as education, religiosity and elapsed time interval since initial diagnosis were not correlated with depression and anxiety. Discussion: Our results support the thesis that low social support and low sense of coherence enhance vulnerability to depressive and anxiety symptoms.