Depression in patients with colorectal cancer in Saudi Arabia.
OBJECTIVE: Persons with colon cancer experience considerable psychological stress due to physical and social changes brought on by illness, increasing their risk of depressive disorder (DD). We examine the prevalence of DD and depressive symptoms and determine baseline demographic, social, psychological, and physical health correlates. METHODS: A convenience sample of 70 cancer patients in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was screened for DD using an abbreviated version of the Structured Clinical Interview for Depression (SCID) and for depressive symptoms using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Demographic, psychosocial, psychiatric, and physical health characteristics were also assessed, along with past treatments for colon cancer. Bivariate and multivariate analyses identified predictors of DD and symptoms. RESULTS: The 1-month prevalence of DD was 30.0% (12.9% major depression, 5.7% minor depression, and 11.4% for dysthymia) and significant depressive symptoms were present in 57.1% (HDRS 8 or higher), including having persistent suicidal thoughts for 2 weeks or longer wthin the past month (14.3%) . Low social support and having a co-morbid psychiatric illness (particularly anxiety) independently predicted DD based on the SCID. Saudi nationality, poor financial situation, low social support, and co-morbid psychiatric illness independently predicted depressive symptoms on the HDRS. Surprisingly, stage of cancer, duration of cancer, and treatments for cancer were unrelated to DD or depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: DD and significant depressive symptoms are common in patients with colon cancer in Saudi Arabia, and are predicted by a distinct set of demographic and psychosocial risk factors that may help with identification. Demographic and psychological risk factors were more likely to be associated with depression than cancer characteristics in this sample.
Shaheen Al Ahwal, M; Al Zaben, F; Khalifa, DA; Sehlo, MG; Ahmad, RG; Koenig, HG
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