Physical conditions linked to psychological distress in patients with cancer

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Among patients with cancer, having additional physical comorbidities was linked with a higher risk of experiencing psychological distress. The finding comes from a Psycho-Oncology analysis of 2017 data from the National Health Survey of Spain.

The analysis included 484 patients who reported a and 484 matched controls without a history of cancer. Compared with controls, patients with cancer reported more physical comorbidities, including , asthma, chronic bronchitis, urinary incontinence, prostate problems, and kidney problems. They also reported higher psychological distress and were more likely to have consulted a mental healthcare professional in the past year.

Thirty percent of patients with cancer reported significant psychological distress but only 10% had consulted a professional. Each additional physical comorbidity was associated with a 9% higher odds that patients with cancer would report having high and a 21% higher odds that they would have consulted a mental healthcare professional.

"Comorbidities often influence the choice and management of cancer treatment. These results suggest that they could also be important for patients' in the months following diagnosis," said the first author Dafina Petrova, Ph.D., of the Andalusian School of Public Health, in Spain.

More information: Psycho-Oncology (2021). DOI: 10.1002/pon.5632

Journal information: Psycho-Oncology
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Physical conditions linked to psychological distress in patients with cancer (2021, February 18) retrieved 3 March 2024 from
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