Can a brief psychological intervention prevent anxiety or depressive disorders in cancer patients? A randomised controlled trial

Carolyn Pitceathly, P. Maguire, I. Fletcher, M. Parle, B. Tomenson, F. Creed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Background: We tested whether a brief psychological intervention could prevent anxiety or depressive disorders among newly diagnosed cancer patients. Patients and methods: Patients free of anxiety or depressive disorder were randomised to receive immediate intervention (start of cancer treatment), delayed intervention (8 weeks after starting treatment) or usual care. They were stratified according to risk of developing anxiety or depressive disorders. Primary outcome was measured using a standardised psychiatric interview to detect any anxiety or depressive disorder at 6 and 12 months following the cancer diagnosis. Analyses used conditional odds logistic regression models adjusting for age, gender, concerns and past history to compare outcome of all intervention patients with usual care. Results: A total of 465 patients were recruited. In all, 313 (79%) of the 397 well enough to be interviewed completed the study. At 12 months, there was no difference between the groups receiving the intervention and usual care [odds ratio (OR) = 0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.41-1.17, P = 0.17]. In high-risk patients, those who received the intervention were less likely to develop an anxiety or depressive disorder compared with those who received usual care (OR = 0.54, 95% CI 0.29-1.00, P = 0.050). In low-risk patients, there was no difference (OR = 1.50, 95% CI 0.51-4.43, P = 0.47). Conclusion: A brief intervention, delivered by nonspecialists, promoted adjustment among newly diagnosed cancer patients at high risk of developing anxiety or depressive disorders. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)928-934
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnnals of Oncology
    Volume20
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • Anxiety or depressive disorder
    • Cancer patients
    • Psychological intervention
    • Randomised controlled trial

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