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The Relationship between Siege Stressors, Anxiety, and Depression among Patients with Cancer in Gaza Strip

Introduction: There is a growing body of literature examining the impact of other stressors due to daily life situation beside the stress of being diagnosed with cancer on anxiety and depression. Aim: The study aimed to investigate the relationship between stressors due to siege, war trauma, anxiety and depression among cancer patients in Gaza Strip. Method: The study sample consisted of 380 cancer patients (128 male and 252 female). The researcher used descriptive–analytical design to describe the study variables using; Gaza Scale for Socio-demographic status; Gaza Stressful Situations Checklist; Beck Depression Inventory Short form 13 items, translated into Arabic by Thabet; Hamilton Anxiety Scale. Results: The most common reported stressors due to siege were : 92.9% said prices are sharply increased due to closure, 90.3% said they feel that they are in big prison, 85.5% their work affected so much due to cut-off of electricity and shortage of gas (85.5%). The patients with cancer reported from 2-16 stressors due to siege with mean 9.02. Male cancer patients reported more stressors due to siege and families with low income had more stressors. Twenty four percent of patients had severe depression, female patients, and families with monthly income less than $300 had more depression. The results showed that 58.9% of patients had severe anxiety; female patients had more anxiety and families less than $300 had more anxiety. The study showed that there were statistically significant positive relationship between total stressors due to siege and depression symptoms and anxiety and there were significant relationship between the depression and anxiety in patients with cancer. Clinical implications: The results revealed that the majority of the study sample suffering from anxiety and depression due to siege. These results considered critical indicators that must be taken into consideration by the policy makers, researchers and clinicians to establish psychological support department specialized for cancer patients at the treating Centre and should be consult with specialized psychiatrist. Also, to provide the cancer patients with a list of recognized psychological centers and professional counselors for help. Establishing psychotherapy group for cancer patients. Provide special treatment and psychological support for the cancer patients.


Reema Awni Bseiso and Abdelaziz Mousa Thabet

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