Suicidal ideation in patients undergoing brain tumor surgery: prevalence and risk factors
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Suicidal ideation (SI) is an important complication in cancer patients that should be promptly recognized and adequately managed. We investigated the prevalence rate and correlates of pre-operative SI in brain tumor (BT) patients admitted for elective BT surgery.
Two hundred and eleven consecutive patients (70 % women; mean age 55.9 ± 15.4 years) scheduled for BT surgery were evaluated for SI (“suicidal thought” item from the Beck Depression Inventory-II), depressive/anxiety symptom severity (Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS)), health-related quality of life (SF-36 scale), functional status (Barthel Index), and psychiatric histories and treatments. The majority of patients were diagnosed with meningioma (39 %) and high-grade glioma (17 %).
SI was self-reported by 12 (6 %) patients. Patients expressing SI were most commonly diagnosed with meningioma (50 %). Patients with SI were more likely to have a past history of psychiatric disorders, scored higher on the HADS anxiety subscale, and reported worse health-related quality of life across physical and mental health domains. In multivariate regression analyses, worse perceived mental health was associated with increased risk for SI independently from clinical, sociodemographic, and other patient-oriented variables considered in the study.
SI was self-reported by 6 % of BT patients before surgical intervention and was associated with a past history of psychiatric disorders and worse perceived health status. Poor mental health was an independent correlate of SI. The perception of health status by a patient should be considered as an important determinant of poor mental health in BT patients.