The characteristics and risk factors for common psychiatric disorders in patients with cancer seeking help for mental health

BMC Psychiatry Sep 10, 2019

Anuk D, et al. - Researchers obtained baseline information on patients with cancer seeking help for mental health who presented for the first time to the psycho-oncology outpatient clinic in this study. In addition, they assessed risk factors that may assist healthcare practitioners in identifying those needing psychological help in oncology practice. Among 566 patients with cancer who were referred to the psycho-oncology outpatient clinic over a 2-year period, a psychiatric disorder (diagnosed) incidence of 97.5% was observed. The following distributions of psychiatric diagnoses were noted: any kind of adjustment disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, organic brain syndrome, personality disorders, delusional disorder, and insomnia. Common significant risk factors for adjustment disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders were a recurrence of cancer, other chronic medical illnesses, a history of psychiatric disorders, poor social support, and low income. Findings highlighted the value of identification of risk factors and raising oncologists’ awareness toward risk factors in order to aid more patients in gaining access to mental healthcare much earlier.

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