Prevalence and associated factors of psychological distress among Korean cancer patients

Seung Jun Kim, Sun Young Rha, Su Kyung Song, Kee Namkoong, Hyun Cheol Chung, Sang Hyun Yoon, Gun Min Kim, Kyung Ran Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study primarily aimed to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of psychological distress among Korean cancer patients. Its secondary objective was to classify mental illnesses among cancer patients with significant psychological distress. Methods: We administered the Modified Distress Thermometer (MDT), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) to consecutive, newly diagnosed cancer patients and conducted subsequent psychiatric interviews. A multiple logistic regression produced a discriminate profile of individuals with psychological distress. Results: Among 295 participants, 85 (28.8%) were identified as patients with psychological distress. Female gender [odds ratio (OR)=1.97], low educational level (OR=2.25) and low performance status (OR=4.10) were significantly associated with this condition. Among the 38 patients with psychological distress who received psychiatric assessment, the most common mental illness was adjustment disorder (n=23, 69.7%). Conclusion: The results of this study showed that approximately one-third of the cancer patients suffered from psychological distress. We recommend that physicians focus on the psychological status of female cancer patients with low levels of education and poor performance status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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