Assessment of depression among cancer patients: the role of pain, cancer type and treatment

Psychooncology. 2001 Mar-Apr;10(2):156-65. doi: 10.1002/pon.505.


One hundred consecutive cancer patients were assessed using two structured methods for assessing major depressive disorder-Structured Clinical Interview for DSM III-R (SCID) and Endicott criteria-and using a depression rating scale-Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD). Forty-nine percent of patients were depressed using SCID (DSM III-R criteria), whereas 29% of patients were depressed using Endicott criteria. Twenty-eight percent of patients were depressed using both criteria. Age and sex did not have any influence on the assessment of major depression. Both the structured interview and the rating scale were able to identify suicide ideation. Depressed patients were not shown to have more lifetime depression than non-depressed patients using both structured methods. Patients who were depressed using both assessments of depression had more metastasis and pain than non-depressed patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Steroids


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Steroids