Study: Easy Way to Detect Depression in Cancer Patients

by William White | September 24, 2013 12:55 pm

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A study has found that a two question survey[2] can correctly detect depression in cancer patients.

The two question survey asks patients if they have felt down, depressed or hopeless and if they have experienced little interest or pleasure in doing things. The two question can be answered four different ways: not at all, several days, more than half the days and nearly every day. Each answer has a point value that is used to determine if a cancer patient is depressed. The points range from zero for the not at all answer to three for the nearly everyday answer. The test of this survey included 455 cancer patients at 37 center in the United States. The study also found that 78% of radiation therapy centers regularly screen for depression and that 68% of radiation therapy centers offer mental health services, reports WebMD.

Of the 455 patients included in the study, 45% were seeking treatment for breast cancer, 11% for GI cancer, 10% for lung cancer, 6% for gynecologic cancer and 27% for other cancers. 66% of the patients in the trial were women, reports News Medical[3].

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