Sociodemographic risk indicators for depressive symptoms among persons with oral cancer or oral epithelial dysplasia

Susan Reisine, Douglas E. Morse, Walter J. Psoter, Ellen Eisenberg, Donald Cohen, Deborah Cleveland, Mirseyed Mohit-Tabatabai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We report findings from a study that measured associations between sociodemographic risk indicators and depressive symptoms among individuals diagnosed with either oral cancer or a premalignant lesion. Materials and Methods: Incident cases of oral cancer and oral epithelial dysplasia (OED) were identified by reviewing pathology reports generated by 3 oral pathology laboratories serving primarily community-based oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Subjects were interviewed by telephone to collect information on sociodemographic characteristics, depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) Scale, and social support using the Berkman Social Network Inventory. Results: The analysis included 167 oral cancer and 234 OED cases. Nineteen percent of the subjects had a CES-D score indicative of clinical depression (CES-D ≥16). Forward and backward stepwise logistic regression identified diagnosis (cancer/OED), age, social support, employment status, and gender as sociodemographic indicators of CES-D scores of 16+. In the final model, which also controlled for smoking and drinking, the odds of having elevated CES-D scores (16+) were 79% higher among oral cancer relative to OED cases. The odds of high CES-D scores were significantly reduced in persons over the age of 50 compared with those aged 50 years and younger as well as in persons with higher, relative to low, levels of social support and in persons employed outside the home compared with those who were not. Although not statistically significant, men were more likely to have CES-D scores indicative of clinical depression. Conclusions: Knowledge of sociodemographic characteristics may assist the clinician in identifying those individuals with an elevated risk of concomitant depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-520
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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