Routine screening for depression in radiation oncology patients.


Journal Article

PURPOSE: Depression is a debilitating illness with symptoms that overlap those of cancer and radiotherapy. We sought to measure the frequency of depression in adult radiation oncology patients. METHODS AND MATERIALS: The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) was incorporated into routine clinical evaluation of patients. Results were analyzed by univariate analysis and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). RESULTS: One hundred twenty-four patients were screened and 19 (15%) endorsed significant depressive symptoms. Of these, levels of depression were: 58% mild, 32% moderate, and 10% severe. Twenty-six percent of the depressed group had a history of previous psychiatric diagnoses and 32% previously had been placed on psychotropic medications. The most frequent somatic symptoms for the entire group were loss of energy (73%) and tiredness or fatigue (69%). All depressed patients endorsed some somatic symptoms, but these alone were insufficient to score in the range of depression. CONCLUSIONS: A simple tool can be administered in the clinic by radiation oncologists to screen for depression. The frequency of depression in our patients was 15%. Somatic symptoms alone were insufficient to score as depressed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hahn, CA; Dunn, R; Halperin, EC

Published Date

  • October 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 497 - 499

PubMed ID

  • 15596919

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15596919

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-453X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/01.coc.0000135377.28001.01


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States