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Association between suicidal ideation and behavior, and depression, anxiety, and perceived social support in cancer patients

Melike Ceyhan Balcı Şengül, Vildan Kaya, Cenk Ahmet Şen, Kemal Kaya

(Department of Psychiatry, Pamukkale University School of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey)

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:329-336

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889989


Background: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between suicidal behavior and associated factors such as depression, anxiety, and perceived social support level in cancer patients.
Material and Methods: The study group included 102 patients who were under treatment in the oncology department and the control group included 100 individuals with similar sociodemographic features. A sociodemographic information form, Beck depression inventory, Beck anxiety inventory, suicidal behavior inventory, suicidal ideation inventory, and multidimensional inventory of perceived social support were used.
Results: The mean Beck depression inventory and Beck anxiety inventory scores in the study group were significantly higher compared to the control group. Thirteen patients in the study group attempted suicide, whereas 3 individuals attempted suicide in the control group. Similarly, the mean suicide behavior and ideation scores in the study group were significantly higher compared to the control group. The mean total multidimensional inventories of perceived social support score, as well as the mean family and friend sub-inventory scores in the control group were significantly higher compared to the study group.
Conclusions: This study revealed that depression and anxiety occur frequently in cancer patients. Suicide attempts and ideation are higher in cancer patients compared to the control group. Social support perceived from family and friends is lower in cancer patients. Suicide attempts are correlated with depression, anxiety, low level of perceived social support, and advanced disease stage.

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