Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Joy Holloway

Second Advisor

Jeffery Morris

Third Advisor

Brad Elison

Abstract

In an effort to depict the effects of patient diagnosis, number of visits received, and length of hospital stay on the level of depression hospitalized oncology patients exhibit, an experiment was conducted to fully reveal the ramifications of these variables. Employing statistical analysis, three primary independent variables were examined: diagnosis, number of visits received, and length of hospital stay. Beck Depression Inventory surveys were administered to patients in the oncology medical unit at Deaconess Hospital. Data was compiled regarding the various diagnoses patients received, number of visits received, length of hospital stay, as well as patient scores on Beck Depression Inventory surveys. The effects of the independent variables on depression scores were then statistically analyzed. Combined with personal interviews, the results of the surveys illustrated significant factors that influenced various levels of depression in hospitalized oncology patients. The experiment revealed that patients who experienced terminal prognoses, low number of visits, and prolonged hospital stays scored significantly high on the Beck Depression Inventory surveys. On the other hand, patients who experienced non-terminal prognoses, high number of visits, and short hospital stays scored significantly lower on the Beck Depression Inventory Surveys. Upon analyzing the data, the underlying pattern established was that the most influential factors determining depression scores in patients were terminal, or non-terminal prognoses, and number of visits received. This research may suggest that while there are a multitude of factors influencing depression, utilizing various external factors (visiting patients, positive treatment plans, etc.) may facilitate curving depression in hospitalized oncology patients.

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