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ASSESSMENT OF DEPRESSION AMONG CANCER PATIENTS IN DISTRICT CANCER CENTRE, KOZHENCHERRY.

Depression can be a complicating problem for chronic medical illness including cancer. Depression in cancer patients goes unrecognized for several reason as it is misinterpreted to reaction to diagnosis or it is viewed as a side effect of cancer treatments, If left undiagnosed and untreated, the implications are enormous like complications in treatment, prolonged hospital stays and greater suffering and mortality. Depressed patients are also more likely to commit suicide or request physician assisted suicide. Depression complicates patients efforts to cope with illness and adhere to medical treatment. Serious depression may impact on cancer prognosis. Doctors and nurses will need to improve their skills in the detection of psychological morbidity, especially major depression. Accurate detection and treatment of depression may improve survival in cancer patients and improve their quality of life. The objectives of the study were: 1.To assess the level of depression among cancer patients. 2.To find out the influence of selected demographic and disease variables on level of depression. The research design adopted was descriptive co relational design. The conceptual framework adopted for the study was Penders Health Promotion Model (1984). The study was conducted in District Cancer Centre, Kozhencherry. Patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were selected for the study, Forty six cancer patients were assessed for depression using depression assessment tool, Becks Depression Inventory. The data were collected by means of semi structured interview and from medical

records. The data collection was validated and the reliability was determined by the pilot study.

Major Findings of the Study: 1. Among the group majority of the cancer patients (30.4%) were in the age group of 6170. 2. Thirty eight (82.6%) among the forty six patients were married. 3. Patients (91.3%) in the study mainly depends their family for the emotional support, and (76% ) for financial support. 4. Majority of the patients (36.9%) were in the stage 4 of cancer. 5. More than half of the patients (52.1%) were undergoing chemotherapy. 6. The level of depression among cancer patients who participated in the study were, (50%) had extreme depression, (41.4%) had severe depression and (8.6%) had moderate depression.

7. There is a positive correlation between the age and the level of depression among the cancer patients, hence the result shows that the Karl Pearsons Co relation Coefficient is positive, the r value is 0.40 8. There is a negative correlation between income and level of depression among the cancer patients, the r value is -0.09 9. There is a positive correlation between duration of illness and the level of depression among the cancer patients, the r value is 0.31

10. There is a positive correlation between the stage of illness and the level of depression among the cancer patients, the r value is 0.38