Demoralization is a form of psychological distress that may cause suicidal ideation. Demoralization syndrome is common among cancer patients, but there has been little empirical study on the association of suicidal ideation with demoralization, depression, and anxiety in this population. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of high demoralization among cancer patients in mainland China and the contribution of high demoralization to suicidal ideation beyond the impact of self-report depression and anxiety. In this cross-sectional study, 303 patients with cancer were invited to complete questionnaires. In total, 14.5% participants reported suicidal ideation and 49.50% high demoralization. Logistic regression analysis identified high demoralization as an independent risk factor for suicidal ideation. Only depression (odds ratio [OR], 6.68) had a stronger influence on suicidal ideation than demoralization (OR, 5.85), and patients with both depression and high demoralization were most likely to experience suicidal ideation. These findings suggest that measures of demoralization can help identify cancer patients at high suicide risk and that such patients require further attention and measures targeting demoralization for suicide prevention.
*Department of Nursing, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology;
†Department of Psychiatry, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University; and
‡School of Nursing, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.
Send reprint requests to Deying Hu, PhD, Department of Nursing, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1277 Jiefang Dadao, Wuhan, Hubei Province, 430022 China. E-mail: email@example.com.