Depression and Suicide Ideas of Cancer Patients and Influencing Factors in South Korea


Background: This study compared risk factors for depression and suicidal ideas among cancer patientsfor comparison with the general population, and identified influencing factors. Materials and
Methods: Weanalyzed data from 2,472 cancer patients in the National Cancer Center and nine Regional Cancer Centersand frequency-matched data for age and sex from 2,349 members of the general population who completed theNational Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2008. Logistic regression analysis was used to identifyfactors affecting depression and suicidal ideas.
Results: Cancer patients were not likely to have more depression(OR=0.96, 95%CI=0.79-1.18) and were less likely to have suicidal ideas (OR=0.64, 95%CI=0.53-0.79) comparedto the general population. Female sex, more stress, and lower quality of life were influencing factors. Theadditional risk factors for suicidal ideas among cancer patients included income (OR=0.62, 95%CI=0.43-0.91),smoking (OR=1.63, 95% CI=1.06-2.50), recurrence (OR=1.50, 95%CI=1.15-1.95), and chemotherapy (OR=1.66,95%CI=1.26-2.19).
Conclusions: No differences appeared in depression rates between cancer patients and thegeneral population, and cancer patients were less likely to have suicidal ideas. However, cancer patients werelikely to have more risk factors than the general population, and those classified as being at high risk of suicideshould receive distress management and social economic support, from early in the treatment process.