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Open AccessArticle

Core Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder among Palliative Care Patients

Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta, Jalan Besar, 31259 Tanjong Rambutan, Perak, Malaysia
Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1758;
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 30 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 July 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
A valid method to diagnose depression in palliative care has not been established. In this study, we aim to determine the prevalence of depression and the discriminant validity of the items of four sets of diagnostic criteria in palliative care. This is a cross-sectional study on 240 palliative care patients where the presence of depression was based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM–IV Criteria, Modified DSM–IV Criteria, Cavanaugh Criteria, and Endicott’s Criteria’s. Anxiety, depression, and distress were measured with Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Distress Thermometer. The prevalence of depression among the palliative care patients was highest based on the Modified DSM–IV Criteria (23.3%), followed by the Endicott’s Criteria (13.8%), DSM–IV Criteria (9.2%), and Cavanaugh Criteria (5%). There were significant differences (p < 0.05) in the depressive symptoms showed by DSM–IV item 1 (dysphoric mood), item 2 (loss of interest or pleasure), and Endicott’s criteria item 8 (brooding, self-pity, or pessimism) among the palliative patients, even after adjustment for the anxiety symptoms and distress level. We found that dysphoric mood, loss of interest, and pessimism are the main features of depression in palliative patients. These symptoms should be given more attention in identifying depression in palliative care patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: depression; criteria; palliative; diagnosis; prevalence depression; criteria; palliative; diagnosis; prevalence
MDPI and ACS Style

Huey, N.S.; Guan, N.C.; Gill, J.S.; Hui, K.O.; Sulaiman, A.H.; Kanagasundram, S. Core Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder among Palliative Care Patients. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1758.

AMA Style

Huey NS, Guan NC, Gill JS, Hui KO, Sulaiman AH, Kanagasundram S. Core Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder among Palliative Care Patients. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(8):1758.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huey, Ng S.; Guan, Ng C.; Gill, Jesjeet S.; Hui, Koh O.; Sulaiman, Ahmad H.; Kanagasundram, Sharmilla. 2018. "Core Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder among Palliative Care Patients" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 15, no. 8: 1758.

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