Cancer patients are at high risk for suicide, particularly when they are informed about the cancer diagnosis or hospitalized for cancer treatment. Therefore, oncology healthcare settings such as large general hospitals in China, may represent an ideal setting to identify and treat suicidality in cancer patients. However, the clinical epidemiology of suicidality of Chinese cancer patients remains largely unknown. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation among Chinese cancer inpatients of large general hospitals. A total of 517 cancer inpatients were consecutively recruited from two tertiary general hospitals of a metropolitan city in northern China, and administered with standardized questionnaires to collect data on sociodemographics, mental health, and cancer-related clinical characteristics. Suicidal ideation and mental health were measured with a single self-report question "In the past month, did you think about ending your life?" and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, respectively. The one-month prevalence of suicidal ideation was 15.3% in Chinese cancer inpatients. In multivariable Logistic regression, depression, anxiety, moderate-to-severe pain, metastatic cancer, poor performance status, surgery, and palliative care were significantly associated with suicidal ideation. Cancer inpatients of large Chinese general hospitals have high prevalence of suicidal ideation and therefore potentially at high risk for suicide. Suicide prevention efforts for cancer inpatients should include periodic evaluation of suicidality, effective pain management, psychooncological supports, and, when necessary, psychiatric treatment and crisis intervention.
Zhong, B.-L., Li, S.-H., Lv, S.-Y., Tian, S.-L., Liu, Z.-D., Li, X.-B., … Zhuo, C.-J. (2017). Suicidal ideation among Chinese cancer inpatients of general hospitals: prevalence and correlates. Oncotarget, 8(15). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15350