Three Symptoms Suggest Higher Risk for Self-injury in Cancer
Moderate to severe anxiety, depression, and shortness of breath indicate increased risk for nonfatal self-injury (NFSI) among patients newly diagnosed with cancer, according to a Canadian study. In a population-based, case-control study, each of these symptoms was associated with an increase of at least 60% in the risk for NFSI in the following 180 days, the investigators report.
@amitesh The study included adults who were diagnosed with cancer between January 1, 2007, and March 31, 2019, and had completed the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) evaluation within 36 months of their index cancer diagnosis. ESAS evaluates nine common cancer-associated symptoms, including pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, appetite, well-being, and shortness of breath, on a patient-reported scale of 0 (absence of symptom) to 10 (worst possible symptom). The analysis included 406 patients who had visited an emergency department for an NFSI within 180 days of their ESAS evaluation, as well as 1624 matched control patients with cancer who did not have an NFSI. Case patients and control patients were matched according to age at cancer diagnosis, sex, prior self-injury within 5 years of being diagnosed with cancer, and cancer type. Nonmatched covariates included psychiatric illness and therapy received before NFSI, comorbidity burden, material deprivation, and cancer stage.