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Research ArticleOpen Access

Depression in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated at K Hospital During 2021 – 2022 Volume 51- Issue 4

Do Tuyet Mai1, Le Khanh Linh2*, Pham Tuong Van3, Tran Thi Thanh Huong3

  • 1National Cancer Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • 2Preventive Medicine - Graduation of medical doctor 2017 – 2023
  • 3Medical Ethics and Psychology Department, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam

Received: July 06, 2023;   Published: July 17, 2023

*Corresponding author: Le Khanh Linh, Preventive Medicine, Graduation of medical doctor 2017 – 2023, Vietnam

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2023.51.008124

Abstract PDF


Objective: This study aimed to describe depression in non-small cell lung cancer patients treated at K Hospital from 2021 – 2022.
Method: Cross-sectional descriptive study. The study was conducted on 243 NSCLC patients treated at K Tan Trieu Hospital by direct phone call interview and psychiatric clinical examination. We applied the PHQ- 9 scale and DSM-5 for screening and confirmed depression.
Results: The study found that the proportion of depression in 243 non-small cell lung cancer patients treated at K Hospital was 10.7%, many patients in the study were in late stage, and stage III or more accounted for more than 80%.
Conclusion: This study has some implications for improving comprehensive care for NSCLC patients.

Keywords: Depression Status; Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


Cancer deaths are rising worldwide. GLOBOCAN 2020 ranks Vietnam 91/185 for new incidence and 50/185 for mortality per 100,000 people. This rank exceeds 2018’s 99/185 and 56/185. Lung cancer is also the second most common cancer worldwide [1]. Cancer treatment is lengthy and expensive. Cancer patients experience stress, anxiety, and depression most often [2]. In McFarland Daniel C. (2020) studied 170 lung cancer patients with tumor mutations and found that 18.9% had depression associated with anthropometric factors and tumor characteristics [3]. Depressed lung cancer patients have been studied in many countries, but few have been studied in Vietnam. Duong Anh Tai et al. found that 39.7% of 73 non-small cell lung cancer patients at Bach Mai Hospital’s Nuclear Medicine and Oncology Center had depression in 2021[4]. To contribute to improving the quality of medical services and quality of life for patients, we carried out the study “Depression in non-small cell lung cancer patients treated at K Hospital during 2021 – 2022”.

Research Methods of Study

Study Subjects

The study was conducted on 243 non-small cell lung cancer patients being treated at K Hospital in 2021-2022. The age of patients from 18 to 65 who had confirmed non-small cell lung cancer diagnosis by pathology. The study period was from 09/2021 to 09/2022 at K Hospital, Tan Trieu Campus, Hanoi.

Study Methods

This was a cross-sectional descriptive study that used the PHQ- 9 depression screening scale, and psychiatrists used the PHQ-9 and DSM-5 to classify depressed patients.

Data Management and Analysis

Information was collected directly on the questionnaires of study subjects that had been built with a set of questions. Data were entered and monitored by Excel and processed using SPSS version 20.0 software.


Cancer Characteristics of the Study Subject

Table 1 presents the time to treatment from diagnosis ranging from 1 to 99 months, with a median of 7 months. Many of the patients were in late-stage disease, and stage III or more accounted for more than 80%. The main treatment method was targeted treatment (39.1%), followed by chemotherapy (25.9%), radiotherapy (19.8%), surgery (8.6%), and immunotherapy (6.6%).

Table 1: Disease characteristics of study participants.


Depression in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Figure 1 shows the prevalence depression levels of the study participants in the PHQ-9, in which mild depression (13.2%) accounted for the highest rate, moderate depression (7.8%), moderately severe depression (2.5%) and severe depression (0.4%). According to Figure 2, proportion of depression with NSCLC in DSM-5 accounted for 10.7% while no depression group accounted for 89.3%.

Figure 1


Figure 2



Depression of Study Participants in PHQ-9

Our study result was consistent with the study of Naser Abdallah Y. et al. in all groups: mild (27.0%), moderate (12.4%), moderately severe (9.2%), and severe (5.4%) [5]. The result also matched other studies with most depression in PHQ-9 being mild, followed by moderate, moderately severe, and severe [6].

Depression of Study Participants in DSM-5

In the study, it was found that the group of patients with non-small cell lung cancer had depression in the DSM-5; the percentage of study participants who met the criteria for depression was 10.7%. Our finding was lower in the 2018 study by McDermott Cara L. of 13,827 nonsmall cell lung cancer subjects with stage IIIB or IV disease in the US (11%) [7]. The difference can be explained by differences in demographic characteristics between the study groups.


To Investigate Depression in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated at K Hospital from 2021 - 2022

The overall prevalence of depression among 243 non-small cell lung cancer patients treated at K Hospital during 2021-2022 by DSM- 5 was 10.7%. The levels of depression by PHQ-9 in the above participants were categorized into four groups: mild level (13.2%), moderate level (7.8%), moderately severe (2.5%), and severe (0.4%).


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  2. Unseld M, Zeilinger EL, Fellinger M, Simone Lubowitzki, Katharina Krammer, et al. (2021) Prevalence of pain and its association with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and distress in 846 cancer patients: A cross sectional study. Psychooncology 30(4): 504-510.
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