Depression among oncological patients

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2017;127(3): 113-117

ALEKSANDER ZARZEKA1,2, MARIUSZ PANCZYK1, BOŻENA ŚCIEGLIŃSKA3,
JAROSŁAWA BELOWSKA1, LUCYNA IWANOW2, JOANNA GOTLIB1

Division of Teaching and Outcomes of Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Student Research Society for Medical Law, Warsaw Medical University, Poland
Independent Public Children’s Teaching Hospital in Warsaw, Poland

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© 2017 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)

Abstract

Introduction. The issue of depression in the context of cancer is a very important and complex problem. Suffering from depression and cancer at the same time concerns from 20% to 80% of the patients.

Aim. Assessment of depression occurrence among oncological patients depending on the profile of the disease.

Material and methods. The research group consisted of 63 oncological patients. Diagnostic poll method, survey technique was used. Occurrence and intensity level of depression symptoms were measured according to the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) which was accompanied by the authorial questionnaire analyzing socio-demographic situation of the surveyed as well as the cancer profile i.e. type of cancer, ailments accompanying the disease and the frequency of their occurrence, undertaken therapies and their results.

Results. The analysis conducted with the help of BDI questionnaire presented the following results: more than half of the surveyed (54%, n=34) suffered from moderate depression and roughly 1/10 (n=7) of the surveyed suffered from severe depression. Only 1/3 (n=22) of the surveyed showed no signs of depression and complained only about low mood. Side effects of the treatment preventing patients from everyday functioning determined the occurrence of depression symptoms. Severity of cancer symptoms, duration of illness, time of diagnosis and number of attempts to fight the disease had no influence on the occurrence of depression symptoms.

Conclusions. Cancer influences every part of a patient’s life. Because of this, a holistic approach should be applied when treating such patients and that approach should be based on cooperation of doctors with clinical psychologists.


Keywords: depressive disorders, cancer, patients.

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