Impact of Onset of Psychiatric Disorders and Psychiatric Treatment on Mortality Among Patients with Cancer

Sang Ah Lee, Chung Mo Nam, Young Hoon Kim, Tae Hyun Kim, Sung In Jang, Eun Cheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Psychiatric disorders are common in patients with cancer. The impact of both psychiatric disorders and psychiatric treatment on mortality in patients with cancer needs to be established. Materials and Methods: Nationwide claims data were analyzed. To investigate the association between psychiatric disorders and mortality, 6,292 male and 4,455 female patients with cancer who did not have a record of psychiatric disorders before cancer onset were included. To examine the association between psychiatric treatment and mortality, 1,467 male and 1,364 female patients with cancer were included. Incident psychiatric disorder and receipt of psychiatric treatment within 30 days from the onset of a psychiatric disorder were the main independent variables. Dependent variables were all-cause and cancer-related mortality. Cox proportional hazards regression with time-dependent covariates was used. Results: The onset of psychiatric disorders was associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality in both male (all-cause hazard ratio [HR]: 1.55; cancer-related HR: 1.47) and female patients with cancer (all-cause HR: 1.50; cancer-related HR: 1.44) compared with patients with cancer without psychiatric disorders. Both male and female patients who received psychiatric treatment within 30 days of diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder had a lower risk of cancer-related mortality (males, HR: 0.73; females, HR: 0.71) compared with patients with cancer with psychiatric disorders who did not receive psychiatric treatment. Conclusion: Patients with cancer with newly diagnosed psychiatric disorders had a higher mortality rate. Among these, those who received psychiatric treatment showed lower rates of mortality. Thus, early detection and early treatment of psychiatric disorders in patients with cancer is needed. Implications for Practice: The current study supplements the body of evidence supporting the association of psychiatric disorders onset and treatment with cancer outcomes. Patients with cancer showed an increased risk of both all-cause and cancer-related mortality upon psychiatric disorder onset. Among patients with newly diagnosed psychiatric disorders, those who received psychiatric treatment showed lower cancer-related mortality. Thus, raising awareness of both the risk of psychiatric disorders and the positive effects of psychiatric treatment on cancer outcomes is necessary among patients with cancer, caregivers, and oncologists. Furthermore, it is necessary to adopt a multidisciplinary approach, encouraging patients with cancer to undergo a neuropsychological assessment of their mental health status and receive appropriate and timely psychological interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e733-e742
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© AlphaMed Press 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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