DETECTION AND TREATMENT OF DEPRESSIVE AND ANXIETY DISORDERS AMONG CANCER PATIENTS: FEASIBILITY AND PRELIMINARY FINDINGS FROM A LIAISON SERVICE IN AN ONCOLOGY DIVISION


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Our aim in this observational study was to evaluate the feasibility of a multiphasic screening project for the detection and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders among cancer patients in a natural setting. One hundred sixty-five patients with cancer, consecutively admitted to the Oncology Division of San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, were recruited to the study. All patients had solid tumors; the majority of them were colon, breast, and lung cancers. All patients completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Patients screened as positive were administered the following instruments by a psychiatrist: the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS), and a validated scale for the rapid dimensional assessment of psychopathology (SVARAD). The BDI, HARS, and SVARAD were administered again at 4 and 10 weeks to all treated patients. Out of 45 patients administered the SCID-I, 37 had a mood or anxiety disorder. Adjustment disorders were identified in 20 patients, depressive disorders in 14, and anxiety disorders in three patients. Most patients were prescribed psychotropic medications: mirtazapine was prescribed to 15 patients, citalopram to 13 patients, and escitalopram to four patients. A significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety was observed on all measures (P<.001). Although the design of the study prevents any firm conclusions about effectiveness, this study suggests that including psychiatric expertise in an oncology division is feasible and may lead to improved detection and treatment of psychiatric disorders among cancer patients. Further randomized trials are needed to elaborate on our findings. Depression and Anxiety 23:441-448, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

    loading  Loading Related Articles