Poster Title

Associations Between Circadian Rhythm Indicators and Depressive Symptoms in Lung Cancer Patients

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Psychology and Sociology

Minor

Philosophy

Institution

University of Louisville

KY House District #

40

KY Senate District #

35

Department

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Abstract

Lung cancer accounts for ¼ of all cancer deaths in the United States. Many biological and psychological markers have been linked to cancer progression, prognosis, and overall quality of life for those suffering from this disease. The current study examines potential associations between indicators of circadian rhythm and depressive symptoms in lung cancer patients. This research seeks to begin answering the question: in what ways are biological and psychological variables related in cancer populations? At time of study entry, 65 participants diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer within 5 years were given a data-collection kit containing 20 cortisol salivettes, an actigraph watch, and a packet of psychological questionnaires. Participants were asked to collect cortisol samples, rest-activity data, and complete the psychological measures over the course of 10 days. Following data collection, saliva samples at waking and bedtime were assayed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and rest-activity data was used to calculate the circadian rhythm of activity by estimating the 24-hour autocorrelation coefficient calculated based on 10 days of recording. Patients reporting higher depressive symptoms had significantly elevated bedtime cortisol (p = .031). This finding supports the notion that circadian rhythm disruption is linked with poor mental health in cancer populations and justifies exploring the mediating relationship between biological and psychological markers that predict cancer progression, prognosis, and quality of life.

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Associations Between Circadian Rhythm Indicators and Depressive Symptoms in Lung Cancer Patients

Lung cancer accounts for ¼ of all cancer deaths in the United States. Many biological and psychological markers have been linked to cancer progression, prognosis, and overall quality of life for those suffering from this disease. The current study examines potential associations between indicators of circadian rhythm and depressive symptoms in lung cancer patients. This research seeks to begin answering the question: in what ways are biological and psychological variables related in cancer populations? At time of study entry, 65 participants diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer within 5 years were given a data-collection kit containing 20 cortisol salivettes, an actigraph watch, and a packet of psychological questionnaires. Participants were asked to collect cortisol samples, rest-activity data, and complete the psychological measures over the course of 10 days. Following data collection, saliva samples at waking and bedtime were assayed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and rest-activity data was used to calculate the circadian rhythm of activity by estimating the 24-hour autocorrelation coefficient calculated based on 10 days of recording. Patients reporting higher depressive symptoms had significantly elevated bedtime cortisol (p = .031). This finding supports the notion that circadian rhythm disruption is linked with poor mental health in cancer populations and justifies exploring the mediating relationship between biological and psychological markers that predict cancer progression, prognosis, and quality of life.