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Title: Chance of psychiatric morbidity amongst recently diagnosed cancer outpatients attending a chemotherapy unit
Authors: Chaves, Ana Cristina [UNIFESP]
Pinto, Renata Novaes [UNIFESP]
Lourenço, Maria Teresa Duarte Pereira da Cruz [UNIFESP]
Mari, Jair de Jesus [UNIFESP]
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Hospital A.C. Camargo
Keywords: Psychiatric morbidity
Psychological distress
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2005
Publisher: Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica
Citation: Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica, v. 38, n. 9, p. 1423-1427, 2005.
Abstract: The prevalent rate of psychiatry morbidity amongst patients with cancer reported in various studies ranges from 5 to 50%, a variation that can be attributed to differences in sample size, the disease itself and treatment factors. The objectives of the present study were to determine the frequency of psychiatric morbidity amongst recently diagnosed cancer outpatients and try to identify which factors might be related to further psychological distress. Two hundred and eleven (70.9%) female patients and 87 (29.1%) male patients from the chemotherapy unit of the Cancer Hospital A.C. Camargo (São Paulo) completed a questionnaire that featured data on demographic, medical and treatment details. The Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) was administered to the patients to determine their personal psychiatric morbidity. Seventy-two patients (25.8%) scored> or = 8 in the SRQ-20, the cut-off point for a patient to be considered a psychiatric case. When the low and high scoring groups were compared no differences were detected regarding age, marital status, tumor site, sex, or previous treatment. Nonetheless, patients in the lowest social class and those who were bedridden less than 50% of the time had a significantly higher probability of being a psychiatric case. Regarding help-seeking behavior in situations in which they had doubts or were frightened, about 64% of the total sample did not seek any type of support and did not talk to anyone. This frequency of psychiatric morbidity agrees with data from the cancer literature. According to many investigators, the early detection of a comorbid psychiatric disorder is crucial to relieve a patient's suffering.
ISSN: 0100-879X
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