Depression in Palliative Care Cancer Patients – Prevalence and Influence of Pain
Background: Depression is an aversive emotional state which has a negative impact on the quality of life of a cancer patient. Identification of clinical depression will lead to improvement of the person’s disease state by early intervention.
Methods: 200 cancer patients attending the pain and palliative care clinic were evaluated for depression using DSM-IV criteria for Major Depressive Disorder modified with Endicott’s criteria. The severity of pain in the depressed and nondepressed patients was compared.
Results: 71(35.5%) out of 200 patients were found to be suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. Inpatient status (50.7%) and female sex (53.6%) were significantly more among the depressed population. There was also a significant increase in the pain experienced by the depressed compared to the nondepressed patients.
Conclusion: The prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder in terminally cancer patients is high. They also suffer from more severe pain. Early identification and intervention of the depressed state will also help in pain relief of the patients.
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