The assessment and prevalence of affective disorders in advanced cancer

J Palliat Care. Spring 1995;11(1):10-8.


The assessment of depression in patients with advanced cancer presents a difficult clinical challenge. Reported prevalence rates of depression in cancer patients range from 3.7% to 58%. Studies using structured diagnostic interviews and clearly defined diagnostic criteria are presented. The current literature suggests that among hospitalized cancer patients with significant levels of physical impairment at least 25% suffer from clinically important depression. Risk of suicide and recent literature regarding early wish to die are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Suicide / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology