The Journal Supportive Care in Cancer has recently published a study showing that quality of life measures might be important correlates of suicidal ideation in a sample of patients with brain tumors (BT).
Prevalence of suicidal ideation is significantly higher in cancer patients when compared with general population. Suicidal ideation should be timely recognized and adequately managed as studies show that they predict higher risk of all-cause mortality as well as increased rates of death by external causes. Suicide rates are one of the highest in patients suffering from head and neck cancers. Less is known about prevalence of suicidal ideation in patients with brain tumors. Thus authors of this study investigated the prevalence rate SI and their clinical, social-demographic and patients-oriented correlates in patients admitted for elective BT surgery.
The study of two hundred and eleven BT patients revealed 6% SI prevalence. 50% of patients expressing SI were diagnosed with meningioma. Patients with SI were more likely to have a past history of psychiatric disorders, scored higher on the preoperative anxiety, and reported worse health-related quality of life across physical and mental health domains. Worse perceived mental health domain from the MOS 36-item Short-Form Health Survey was identified as the strongest independent correlate of increased risk for SI controlling for other clinical, sociodemographic, and other patient-oriented variables.
Results of the study suggest that perceived worse mental health status should be considered as important risk factor for preoperative SI in BT patients. Quality of life measures might help indentify patients that should be referred to mental health specialists for more detailed assessment or treatment.
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