Delusional disorder and oncology: Review of the literature and case report

Timothy P. Pearman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Delusional disorder is an infrequent diagnosis in outpatient clinical practice. While delusional thought processes are a fairly common part of symptom clusters in chronic psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, true delusional disorders are believed to be fairly rare. Method: In this article, we review scientific data on incidence, diagnosis, and treatment of delusional disorders. This was done by PubMed search utilizing the search terms "delusional disorder," "oncology," "diagnosis," and "treatment." Relevant articles were excluded if they dealt predominantly with schizophrenia instead of primary delusional disorder. Results: We present a case of a patient diagnosed with follicular lymphoma and an apparent longstanding history of persecutory delusions. The patient's symptoms eventually led to intervention in the oncology practice involving the medical center faculty and staff, as well as local police and the court system. Conclusions: Delusional disorder is an under-researched condition, and limited information is known regarding the treatment of this condition when it impacts upon medical care. Future research directions are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • delusional disorder
  • oncology
  • psychopharmacology
  • psychosocial oncology
  • psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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