Background: Depression is a comorbid disabling problem and potentially affects patient likelihood of survival.The aims of this study were to recognize the characteristics of depression and investigate associated predictorfactors in patients with oral cancers.
Methods: A cross-sectional and correlational design was used to collect datafor this study conducted in northern Taiwan. A set of questionnaires was used to measure depression, symptomdistress, performance status, social support, and demographic and disease-related information. Logistic regressionwas conducted to determine important factors predicting depression.
Results: A total of 132 oral cancer patientsparticipated in this study. Of these, 18.2% were identified as depression cases. The patient average performancestatus score was 90 or higher. Patients reported mild-to-moderate levels of symptom distress. The majorityof social support was from families. Religious belief, alcohol use, symptom distress, and social support fromfamily were found to be important factors predicting depression. Patients with religious belief with alcohol usereported greater symptom distress, and those with lower levels of social support from families were significantlymore likely to develop depression.
Conclusions: Clinicians should assess patient emotional status and managesymptoms in a timely manner to enhance coping abilities. Supportive care provides assurance during the acutesurvivor phase.