A Study on Prevalence of Psychiatric Comorbidity in Female Patients with Breast Cancer


  • Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Department of Psychiatry, Faridkot, Punjab, India


Background: The growing awareness of the psychological impact of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer on quality of life has created the need for deeper insights into the adjustment process, its disorders, and effective strategies for the treatment of psychiatric morbidity.

Objectives: The study was conducted to find out the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity among the female breast cancer patients admitted in Surgery or Radiotherapy units of a tertiary care hospital.

Material & Methods: The sample was taken from sixty female non pregnant, non lactating breast cancer patients consenting for study admitted in Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot aged between 18-60 years. The patients for study were screened by General Health Questionnaire (GHQ 12). After screening the patients who were found to have positive psychological stress, were further interviewed individually and final diagnosis was made on the basis of DSM-IV-TR criteria for mental disorders.

Results: The number of patients with psychiatric morbidity was found in 45% of breast cancer patients. The clinical diagnosis as per DSM-IV criteria's in majority of the patients (59.25%) was Adjustment Disorder. Major Depressive disorder was found in 22.2% patients. Generalised Anxiety Disorder was found in 14.8% patients. Somatoform Disorder was found in 3.7% patients. More number of patients with advanced stage of cancer (21) were found to be having diagnosable psychiatric illness than patients with early stage of cancer (6).

Conclusions: The results of the study have implications for clinical training, practice and policy initiatives. Integrating mental health into general health care, effective mass media coverage, networking between mental health-professionals and other health professionals, community-based health services are required.


Psychological Stress, Psychiatric Morbidity, General Health Questionnaire, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder.

Subject Discipline

Psychiatry and Psychology

Full Text:


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