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28.02.2020 | original article | Ausgabe 13-14/2020

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 13-14/2020

Psychiatric comorbidities in cancer patients: acute interventions by the psychiatric consultation liaison service

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 13-14/2020
PD Dr. med. Arnim Quante, Kristina Schulz, Maria Fissler
Wichtige Hinweise

Author contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Kristina Schulz and Arnim Quante. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Kristina Schulz and Maria Fissler. The conceptualization and methodology was performed by Arnim Quante. All authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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The aim of this study was to explore the psychiatric comorbidities in cancer patients examined by the psychiatric consultation liaison services (CLP) in a general hospital. Furthermore, we intended to examine associations between certain cancers types and psychiatric disorders as well as to give an overview of the psychiatric treatments options that were recommended by the CLP.


This retrospective analysis investigated 119 psychiatric consultations for cancer patients in a one year period. The assessment covered demographics and cancer diagnosis, psychiatric diagnosis and proceedings.


One third of all patients were treated for hematological cancer, followed by lung cancer. Depression was the most common psychiatric disorder. One third of all patients with hematological cancer were diagnosed with depression, followed by delirium. Inpatient psychiatric treatment and psychotherapy were most commonly recommended by the consultant psychiatrist. Furthermore, 80.2% of all patients received recommendations for medication with antidepressants.


Our data showed that the CLP provides an important service of detecting and initiating early and appropriate treatment for cancer patients with comorbid psychiatric disorders by directing patients to the relevant treatment procedure or facility.

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