• How To Cope with Cancer and Resulting Depression

    by Caroline Ryther
    on May 21st, 2018

Learning that you have cancer is of course a frightening and life-changing event. Individuals going through the treatment of cancer frequently have high levels of psychological distress, and depression is very common. Around 25% of cancer patients need mental health treatments in order to have a successful recovery.

One effective method being used to address the necessity for depression care in cancer treatment is a collaborative care approach where mental health care is an integral part of the overall care. For example, a new study looks at an intervention to help deal with suffering among people diagnosed with cancer.  The researchers looked at the effects of a brief, one or two visit session of psychotherapy, and were astonished by the quick results.

They concluded that even the short psychotherapy sessions improved patients’ depression and quality of life. Compared with patients in the usual care group, partakers in the Depression Care for People with Cancer program also had less depression, anxiety, pain and fatigue.

The study had 146 patients ranging in age from 19 to 79 years, who all completed the Distress Thermometer at the beginning of their first and second visits at the clinic and repeated it at the end of each visit. The visits involved a combination of medication and psychotherapy and lasted up to an hour.

They found a substantial improvement in distress scores after the visits. The average time between the two visits was 17 days and the distress scores were not significantly different between the end of the first visit and the beginning of the second. This suggests the beneficial effect of the first intervention persisted, according to the researchers.

The researchers conclude that in adult cancer patients: one-hour of psychotherapy administered over one to two sessions significantly reduced patient’s distress.

Do you or a loved one have cancer?

Dr. Best can help you find the relief you need. Call the neuroscience center in Chicago for more information and get immediate help:   

Phone: 847-306-8938

Email: pm@mind.md

Author Caroline Ryther

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