Psychological distress during the last three months of life of Italian cancer patients. Results from the Italian Survey of the Dying of Cancer (ISDOC)

M. Beccaro, S. Di Leo, G. Morasso, M. Costantini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim. The aim of this study was to estimate at a national level the prevalence of Italian patients deceased for cancer who experienced anxiety or depressive symptoms in the last three months of life, the kind of aid they received and its effectiveness in reducing psychological distress. Methods. A mortality follow-back survey of 2 000 cancer deaths, representative of the whole country. Information on patients' experience was gathered from the non-professional caregiver with an interview. A section of the interview covered information about the emotional impact of terminal illness in cancer patients. Results. Valid interviews were obtained for 67% of the identified caregivers (N.=1 271). Most Italian cancer patients (74.4%) suffered from anxiety or depression (42.1% often or most of the time; 32.3% sometimes or rarely). The factors associated with a high prevalence of psychological distress were: low patient's and caregiver's age (P=0.02 for both), high period of time of non-self-sufficiency (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMinerva Psichiatrica
Volume49
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Neoplasms
  • Terminal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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