Depression Common in Older Cancer Patients

Depression is common in older cancer patients and could be treated in primary care according to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on cancer survivorship care. 55 percent of the patients who receive collaborative treatment, compared with 34 percent receiving the usual care, showed a 50 percent or greater reduction in depression symptoms.

They also suffered less fatigue, had a better quality of life, less functional impairment and fewer thoughts of death.

The collaborative care program, known as Improving Mood-Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment, included medication and other care coordinated by a depression care manager under the supervision of the primary-care provider and a psychiatrist. Said one researcher “It can literally double the likelihood that the patient’s depression will improve over time.”