Year: 1998 Source: Journal of Affective Disorders, v.50, no.1, (July 1998), p.17-21 SIEC No: 20010489

Total scores of the 30-item Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self Report were used to divide 52 consecutive radiation oncology outpatients into those with depressive symptoms (n=16) & those without (n=36). The 2 groups were compared to find which depressive symptoms occurred & what risk factors were associated with them. Cognitive & endogenous symptoms of depression were helpful in distinguishing the 2 groups. A personal or family history of treated depression but not the number of radiation treatments was also predictive of those with depressive symptoms. 63% of the depessed group endorsed the item, “thoughts of death or suicide” compared to 0% in the non-depressed group. Limitations of the study are discussed. It is concluded depressive symptoms are not inevitable with cancer but patient reports of suicidal ideation, feeling restless, or diminished mood response to good events should prompt a more thorough evaluation for depression. (8 refs.)