Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 395-399

Differences in depressive and anxiety symptoms between cancer and noncancer patients with psychological distress

1 Department of Psychiatry, Cancer Center, Dongnam Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Busan, Korea
2 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University, Busan, Korea

Correspondence Address:
Dr. In Hee Shim
Department of Psychiatry, Cancer Center, Dongnam Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Jwadong-gil 40, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan 46033
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_342_18

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Background: Cancer patients are particularly vulnerable to psychological problems. The purpose of the present study was to compare differences in psychological difficulties, including depression and anxiety, between cancer patients and noncancer patients. This study assessed the differences in depressive and anxiety symptoms between patients with and without cancer. Materials and Methods: Participants included 219 patients at The Cancer Center, Dongnam Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Busan, Korea, who reported depressive or anxiety symptoms between April 2014 and April 2016. Patients were categorized into cancer and noncancer groups based on medical histories showing a diagnosis of any type of cancer. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were used to evaluate psychological distress at each patient's first visit. Patients' charts were reviewed for clinical data, including BDI and BAI scores and duration of cancer treatment, and for demographic data such as age and sex. Results: The results showed that patients in the cancer group experienced greater discomfort related to somatic symptoms; higher BDI subscale scores were related to work difficulties, insomnia, loss of appetite, somatic worries (fatigue), and loss of libido compared with patients in the noncancer group. The BAI subscale scores for fear of the worst happening, feeling unsteady, feeling terrified or afraid, a sense of choking, fear of dying, and feeling scared were higher in patients with than in those without cancer. Conclusion: High levels of depressive symptoms related to somatic discomfort and anxiety symptoms related to fear of cancer were associated with considerable psychological distress in patients with cancer diagnosis and treatment.



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