Assessment of psychological distress and its association with socio-demographic variables among cancer patients in a tertiary care hospital in Bengaluru, Karnataka: a cross sectional study


  • Pooja S. MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangaluru, Karnataka, India; AB-ArK Cell, Commissionerate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Karnataka, India
  • Shivanand Savatagi MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Angan Sengupta Amrita School of Business, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Bangaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Krishnamurthy Jayanna MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangaluru, Karnataka, India



Cancer, Psychological distress, Distress screening


Background: Cancer diagnosis is known to cause significant mental distress and anxiety. Psychologically distressed patients are less compliant to treatments and endure longer hospitalization. Assessment of distress is critical to develop necessary interventions. Our research aims to assess the severity, contributing factors, and relationships between socio-demographic characteristics and psychological distress in cancer patients.

Methods: A cross sectional study with random sample of 188 cancer patients were assessed for distress with NCCN distress thermometer (DT) from a tertiary care facility. Descriptive analysis and Chi-square test performed using SPSS-28. 

Results: 75% reported "moderate and above" distress levels, with a mean distress of 5.5±2.99. Respondents below 40 years, females, currently unmarried, nuclear families, highly educated, and financially dependent were more likely to experience severe distress (score 8-10). Significant emotional concerns were associated with severe distress, followed by practical problems.

Conclusions: Distress can be routinely screened with a simple visual analogue scale like DT. A severely distress patient had 3 or more physical, practical, emotional and 2 or more social and spiritual concerns and a person with mild distress had just one emotional concern and spiritual concern and none of the other three. Early identification, routine screening and psychosocial support can reduce distress with optimal efficacy.


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How to Cite

S., P., Savatagi, S., Sengupta, A., & Jayanna, K. (2023). Assessment of psychological distress and its association with socio-demographic variables among cancer patients in a tertiary care hospital in Bengaluru, Karnataka: a cross sectional study. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 10(9), 3358–3366.



Original Research Articles