Death Anxiety and Depression among Cancer Patients: Role of Perceived Social Support


  • Kiran Shahzadi MS Scholar, Department of Clinical Psychology, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
  • Samia Mazhar Senior Lecturer, Department of Applied Psychology, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan.



Cancer, Death Anxiety, Depression, Perceived Social Support


The primary objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between death anxiety and depression in individuals coping with cancer, focusing specifically on the role of perceived social support as a protective factor. The sample consisted of 200 cancer patients (95 males, 105 females) from hospitals in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, spanning different age groups. Data were categorized by cancer stage and treatment types. Using a cross-sectional design and correlational approach, the study found excellent reliabilities for Perceived Social Support (? = .90) and good reliabilities for Depression and Death Anxiety (? = .83 and .85, respectively). Gender-based differences were not significant for depression (t = -.51, p > .05) or perceived social support (t = -.23, p > .05). Perceived social support was highest initially and declined as cancer progressed. Significant variance in social support was observed across cancer stages (p < .05), with post hoc tests showing that 1st stage patients had significantly higher support than 2nd, 3rd, and 4th stage patients (MD = 7.27, p = 0.09). The study also showed gender differences in death anxiety, suggesting that women exhibited higher levels of death anxiety compared to men. Moreover, perceived social support was high at the 1st stage and significantly declined as the level progressed (3rd stage). The findings can be helpful for health professionals, psychologists and caregivers.  


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How to Cite

Shahzadi, K., & Mazhar , S. . (2024). Death Anxiety and Depression among Cancer Patients: Role of Perceived Social Support. Journal of Professional & Applied Psychology, 5(1), 68–81.