Depression and Prostate Cancer: Examining Comorbidity and Male-Specific Symptoms

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
American Journal of Men's Health, 2018, 12 (6), pp. 1864 - 1872
Issue Date:
2018-11-01
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© The Author(s) 2018. Depression in men with prostate cancer is a significant and complex issue that can challenge clinicians’ diagnostic efforts. The objective of the current study was to evaluate prototypic and male-specific depression symptoms and suicidal ideation in men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer relative to those with and without comorbidity. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Male Depression Risk Scale-22 (MDRS-22) were completed online along with demographic and background variables by 100 men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer (n = 54 prostatectomy, n = 33 receiving active treatment). Hierarchical logistic regression was used to examine recent (past 2 weeks) suicide ideation. Over one-third of the sample (38%) reported a comorbidity, and this group had significantly higher total depression scores on the PHQ-9 (Cohen’s d = 0.65), MDRS-22 emotion suppression (d = 0.35), and drug use subscales (d = 0.38) compared to respondents without comorbidity. A total of 14% reported recent suicidal ideation, of which 71.4% of cases were identified by the PHQ-9 “moderate” cut-off, and 85.7% of cases were identified by the MDRS-22 “elevated” cut-off. After control variables, MDRS-22 subscales accounted for 45.1% of variance in recent suicidal ideation. While limited by the exclusive use of self-report data, findings point to the potential benefits of evaluating male-specific symptoms as part of depression and suicide risk screening in men with prostate cancer and the need to be mindful of the heightened risk for depression among men with prostate cancer who have comorbidity.
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