Skip to main content

01.12.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 12/2014 Open Access

Supportive Care in Cancer 12/2014

A correlational study of suicidal ideation with psychological distress, depression, and demoralization in patients with cancer

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 12/2014
Chun-Kai Fang, Ming-Chih Chang, Pei-Jan Chen, Ching-Chi Lin, Gon-Shen Chen, Johnson Lin, Ruey-Kuen Hsieh, Yi-Fang Chang, Hong-Wen Chen, Chien-Liang Wu, Kuan-Chia Lin, Yu-Jing Chiu, Yu-Chan Li



This study aims to study the effects of depression and demoralization on suicidal ideation and to determine the feasibility of the Distress Thermometer as a screening tool for patients with cancer who experience depression and demoralization, and thus to establish a model screening process for suicide prevention.


Purposive sampling was used to invite inpatients and outpatients with lung cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma. Two hundred participants completed the questionnaire, which included the Distress Thermometer (DT), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Demoralization Scale-Mandarin Version (DS-MV), and Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation. All data obtained were analyzed using SPSS 18.0 and SAS 9.3.


Tobit regression analysis showed that demoralization influenced suicidal ideation more than depression did (t = 2.84, p < 0.01). When PHQ-9 ≥ 10 and DS-MV ≥42 were used as criteria for the DT, receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that the AUC values were 0.77–0.79, with optimal cutoff points for both of DT ≥5; sensitivity 76.9 and 80.6 %, respectively; and specificity of 73.9 and 72.2 %, respectively.


Demoralization had more influence on suicidal ideation than depression did. Therefore, attention should be paid to highly demoralized patients with cancer or high demoralization comorbid with depression for the purposes of suicide evaluation and prevention. The DT scale (with a cutoff of ≥5 points) has discriminative ability as a screening tool for demoralization or depression and can also be used in clinical settings for the preliminary screening of patients with cancer and high suicide risk.

Unsere Produktempfehlungen

e.Med Interdisziplinär


Mit e.Med Interdisziplinär erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Fachzeitschriften auf Zusätzlich können Sie eine Zeitschrift Ihrer Wahl in gedruckter Form beziehen – ohne Aufpreis.

e.Med Onkologie


Mit e.Med Onkologie erhalten Sie Zugang zu CME-Fortbildungen des Fachgebietes Onkologie, den Premium-Inhalten der onkologischen Fachzeitschriften, inklusive einer gedruckten onkologischen Zeitschrift Ihrer Wahl.

Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 12/2014

Supportive Care in Cancer 12/2014 Zur Ausgabe

Neu im Fachgebiet Onkologie

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Onkologie und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.