Depression, Anxiety and Suicidality in Patients with Prostate Cancer: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Psychiatric implications of prostate cancer are increasingly recognised, having important effects on oncological and functional outcomes. However, findings for co-occurring depression, anxiety, and suicidality remain variable. Therefore, this review of observational studies aimed to establish best estimates of the prevalence and rates of these outcomes in prostate cancer patients. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted using MEDLINE, Scopus, PsycInfo, and Cochrane Library databases from inception up to 26 May 2020. Observational studies using validated methods for evaluating prevalences of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation, or suicide mortality rates post prostate cancer diagnosis were included. Random effect models were used to calculate pooled prevalences of depressive and anxiety symptoms or disorders, and suicidal ideation post diagnosis. Additionally, pooled crude suicide mortality rates per 100,000 person years were calculated. Heterogeneity was explored using a stratified analysis. Results: Of 3537 articles screened, 117 were included. Pooled prevalence for depressive disorders was 5.81% (95% CI 4.36–7.46) in 11 studies, representing 655,149 patients. Significant depressive symptoms were identified in 17.07% (15.14–19.09) across 32,339 patients and 76 studies. In total, 16.86% (14.92–18.89) had significant anxiety symptoms in 56 studies combining 24,526 patients. In 6,173 patients and eight studies, recent suicidal ideation was present in 9.85% (7.31–12.70). Crude suicide mortality rate after diagnosis was 47.1 (39.85–54.96) per 100,000 person years in 12 studies. Significant heterogeneity was seen with potential sources identified through our sensitivity analysis including diagnostic method utilised, study size and location of study. Conclusions: The mental health impact in patients with prostate cancer is significant. Depressive, anxiety, and suicidal symptoms were common. Additionally, a high suicide mortality rate was identified when compared to general population estimates. Screening of patients and integration of physical and mental health care should be evaluated further to improve quality of life and functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281–289
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Early online date25 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021


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