The Impact of Depression on Health Care Utilization in Patients with Cancer

Academic Article


  • Background: Depression is common in the oncology patient population. Little data exist on the impact of depression on health care utilization. Objectives: We evaluated the prevalence of depression and the relationship between depression and health care utilization in patients with cancer. Design: This cross-sectional study utilized patient-reported outcome data from predominately Medicare beneficiaries with cancer. We examined the emergency department visits and inpatient admissions within 3 months from survey. The relationship between depression and hospital visits was assessed using generalized linear models. Results: Of 1038 patients included in the study, 13% had moderate to severe depression. In adjusted models, patients with moderate or severe depression trended toward increased risk of hospitalizations compared with patients without depression (risk ratio: 1.25, 95% confidence interval: 0.97-1.62). Conclusions: Clinically significant depression is not uncommon in cancer patients. Further research is needed evaluating the relationship between depression, health care utilization, and early psychiatric intervention in oncology.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ye S; Williams CP; Gilbert AD; Huang CH; Salter TL; Rocque GB
  • Start Page

  • 755
  • End Page

  • 759
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 5