A Study of Schizophrenic Patients Suffering from Cancer at Mental Hospitals in Prefecture A
Background: This study aimed to grasp the current situations of the hospitalized schizophrenic patients with cancer at the prefectural level for the first time in Japan. Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted with nurses who had experiences in taking care of schizophrenic patients suffering from cancer whose primary complaint was mental and behavioral disorders as diagnosed according to the ICD-10 criteria. Results: There were 90 thirty-year-old or older schizophrenic patients with cancer hospitalized at mental hospitals in prefecture A, including 44 men and 46 women. Patients sixty-five years or older had been hospitalized longer than those who were younger. Conclusion: More than 70% of schizophrenic patients with cancer at mental hospitals died within 1-2 years of cancer diagnosis, half of them, without receiving any explanation about their cancer. The closer cooperation with general hospitals, with patients’ siblings as their key persons, and reconsideration of the current cancer insurance which requires patient’s consent to treatment are some of the issues which have emerged from this research. And only a few of them were given explanation about their cancer disease conditions before they received symptomatic treatment and died.