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Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients

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 Start Page 143 | End Page 149

Abstract

 Background: Psychological distress is a type of mental stress that people experiencedue to various causes. This study aims to investigate Psychological distress in Cancerpatients. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed during one year on Cancerpatients who referred to two academic hospitals affiliated with Mashhad University ofMedical Sciences for treatment or follow-up. We used the Psychological distressquestionnaire for data collection. Results were analyzed using SPSS version 16. P<0. 05 was considered significant. Results: Patients had a mean ± SD age of 54± 15. 30 years (range: 18 to 89). The mostcommon Cancers were colorectal, gastroesophageal, and breast. Patients had a meandistress thermometer score of 5± 2. 99. Out of 256 patients, 173 (67. 7%) scored 4 or higher. The distress thermometer scores were higher among females, rural residents, patientstreated within the previous month, patients with insight of their illness, those with loweducation levels and low functional status, non-smokers, and divorced patients. Asignificant relationship existed between patients who had insight of their illness, received treatment in the previous month, and low functional status with the psychologicaldistress score. The most prevalent cause of Psychological distress among the participantswas fatigue (68. 8%), followed by pain (59. 4%), difficulty in transportation (59. 4%), Anxiety (57. 2%), sadness (50. 4%), anger (44. 5%), and Depression (43. 8%). Conclusion: The results of this study have revealed higher rates of severePsychological distress in women, rural residents, patients with low educational andfunctional status, drug abusers, and divorced patients. Therefore, early detection ofPsychological distress and appropriate interventions among these groups of patients isof cardinal importance. The most prevalent causes of Psychological distress among thepatients in the current study are fatigue and pain. We recommend that supportive andpalliative care be implemented to reduce both the pain and enhance the functional statusof Cancer patients.

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