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Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0104-4230On-line version ISSN 1806-9282


DINIZ, Renata Wanderley et al. Awareness of cancer diagnosis does not lead to depression in palliative care patients. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2006, vol.52, n.5, pp.298-303. ISSN 0104-4230.

OBJECTIVE: Characterize the profile of patients under palliative care at this institution and evaluate the prevalence of depression in these patients. METHODS: Sixty two cancer patients under palliative care, who had answered three questionnaires: one regarding their demographic characteristics, another to evaluate their quality of life and the Beck's depression inventory were surveyed. RESULTS: Of these patients, 68% presented with some degree of depression. Most of them were aware of their diagnosis (87.1%), did not talk to their physicians on other subjects but their disease (81.18%), were satisfied with their treatment (93.33%) and with the support they received (95.70%). Pain, fatigue, weakness and sleep disturbances were the most frequently reported symptoms. There was a significant correlation between presence of depression and not knowing the diagnosis (p=0.008), being admitted to the hospital (p=0.0019) and not having ever received oncologic treatment. CONCLUSION: Patients under palliative care at this institution, despite being satisfied with the treatment, reported poor communication with their physicians and presented with a high rate of depression. Awareness of their diagnosis and having received prior oncologic treatment (p=0.07) correlated significantly and inversely with having depression.

Keywords : Cancer; Palliative care; Depression; Quality of life.

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