Psychological symptoms in adult saudi arabian cancer patients: Prevalence and association with self-rated oral health

Anwar E. Ahmed*, Alhanouf N. Albalawi, Eiman T. Qureshey, Aisha T. Qureshey, Nagarajkumar Yenugadhati, Hamdan Al-Jahdali, Abdul Rahman Jazieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Although psychological symptoms and oral health status are associated with health management and outcomes among cancer patients, their association has not been assessed in Saudi Arabia. We aimed to assess the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress and their association with their oral health status, adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical factors. Methods: A self-reported study included 375 adult cancer patients who received outpatient healthcare services in the Oncology Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between April 1 and August 31, 2017. We used the Arabic version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale to dichotomize a binary outcome for each. Oral health was evaluated by self-rating from “very good” to “bad”. Results: A high prevalence of subjective depression, anxiety, and stress was found (44.8%, 52.5%, and 42.7%, respectively). Of the sample, 17.9% self-reported “bad” oral health, which is associated with a high risk of anxiety and stress, and its association remains significant after controlling for other factors (adjusted odds ratio=6.48 and 4.73, respectively). Being <60 years old, high level of formal education, low income, breast cancer, and lung cancer were associated with increased psychological symptoms. Conclusion: Every 6 in 10 cancer patients in this study reported at least one psychosocial symptom. The findings suggest that there exists an association between self-reported “bad” oral health and psychosocial symptoms. Being <60 years old, low income, high level of formal education, breast cancer, and lung cancer were associated with psychological symptoms. Routine psychological counseling and oral health screening in outpatient oncology clinics may improve psychological outcomes and cancer management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer: Targets and Therapy
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Dental health
  • Depression
  • Saudi
  • Stress


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