Pattern of Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients Visiting Out-Patient Department- A Prospective Study in A Tertiary Cancer Care Hospital in Northern India


  •   Sharanya Marik

  •   Anshika Arora

  •   Sunil Saini


Context: Psychological distress in cancer patients is a well recognized but under diagnosed problem.

Aims: This study aimed to study the prevalence and pattern of distress among cancer patients visiting the out-patient department of oncology.

Settings and Design: This was a prospective observational study, carried out at Cancer Research Institute, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, India, between January 2018 and April 2018.

Material and Methods: We enrolled 390 cancer patients prospectively after written informed consent. Their demographic, disease and treatment details were recorded. Self reporting Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used for anxiety and depression.

Statistical analysis used: After checking for normality of data, normal data was analyzed using Parametric, non-normal using Non-parametric methods. Association between baseline and outcome categorical variables was tested with Chi-square test. A p-value of <0.05 was considered significant. Spearman’s Rho was used for linear correlation.

Results: The prevalence of anxiety was 34.6% and depression 40.3% Factors significantly associated with anxiety were female gender (p=0.051), advanced stage (p=0.036), primary site (p=0.006); with depression advanced stage (p=0.001) and number of metastatic sites (p=0.025). Linear correlation between anxiety and depression was strong (Spearman’s rho= 0.735).

Conclusions: The prevalence of cancer related psychological distress is high in out-patients. Variables like female gender, primary tumor site, advanced stage and number of metastasis were significantly associated with distress.

Keywords: Anxiety, depression, palliative care, prevalence of distress, psychological distress


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How to Cite
Marik, S., Arora, A., & Saini, S. (2022). Pattern of Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients Visiting Out-Patient Department- A Prospective Study in A Tertiary Cancer Care Hospital in Northern India. European Journal of Clinical Medicine, 3(6), 8–13.