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Reducing distress and depression in cancer patients during survivorship. Psychooncology 2021 06;30(6):962-969

Date

04/03/2021

Pubmed ID

33797112

DOI

10.1002/pon.5683

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85104016693

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Distress and depression are prevalent in cancer patients throughout survivorship and are associated with adverse outcomes. This study examines the association between outpatient psycho-oncology treatment and distress and depression in cancer patients.

METHODS: This is a prospective observational study of adult patients with a primary diagnosis of cancer referred for psycho-oncology services. Patients were seen for two psycho-oncology visits in a single clinical setting with various qualified providers. Patients completed the distress thermometer and problem checklist (DT + PL) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) at the beginning of their first and second visits and repeated the DT at the end of these visits.

RESULTS: The analysis included 174 patients seen once and 69 patients seen twice. Patients were seen on average 2.5 years after diagnosis. Both visits were associated with significant reductions in distress (5.56 before and 3.85 after for visit 1, p < 0.001; 4.92 before and 3.43 after for visit 2, p < 0.001). There was a significant reduction in distress from baseline to after visit 2 (p < 0.001). Depression scores significantly decreased from the first to second visits (8.79-7.57; p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS: Psycho-oncology services were associated with significant reductions in distress and depression, with scores after services no longer meeting criteria for clinically significant distress (DT scores ≥ 4) and depression (PHQ-9 scores ≥ 8) as they did at baseline. Reductions in distress and depression were not significantly associated with provider type, intervention or timing of diagnosis. These findings support the use of psycho-oncology services in cancer patients throughout survivorship.

Author List

Molinaro J, Banerjee A, Lyndon S, Slocum S, Danhieux-Poole C, Restivo-Pritzl C, Uselmann AM, Wallace L, Knight JM

Authors

Anjishnu Banerjee PhD Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jennifer M. Knight MD Associate Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jessica R. Molinaro MD Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Lyndsey Wallace PsyD Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adult
Depression
Humans
Neoplasms
Psycho-Oncology
Referral and Consultation
Stress, Psychological
Survivorship