Depressed Patients at Higher Risk for Complications and Hospital Readmission after Complex Cancer Surgery

Cancer patients who report significant symptoms of depression before undergoing a complex abdominal surgery are at increased risk of postoperative complications and unplanned hospital readmissions, according to a UPCI study published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The study examined the relationship between preoperative symptoms of depression and 30-day complications and readmissions, as well as overall survival for patients undergoing hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy with cytoreductive surgery (HIPEC+CS), a complex surgical procedure during which abdominal tumors are removed and the area is “washed” with high doses of heated chemotherapy.

After statistically adjusting the findings to take into consideration possible effects of demographic and disease-specific risk factors, patients who reported significant symptoms of depression before surgery were more than five times more likely to have a complication or an unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days of hospital discharge.

Watch the study’s lead author, Carissa Low, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Psychology and member of UPCI’s Biobehavioral Oncology Program, discuss these findings in the video, and read the press release here.