Patient and general practitioner preferences for the treatment of depression in patients with cancer: How, who, and where?

Laura Hodges, Isabella Butcher, Annet Kleiboer, Gillian McHugh, Gordon Murray, Jane Walker, Rebecca Wilson, Michael Sharpe

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Objective: The objective of this study was to determine and compare patient and general practitioner (GP) preferences for the treatment of depression in patients with cancer. Methods: A treatment preference questionnaire was completed by 100 patients who had been diagnosed with both cancer and major depressive disorder and by 86 GPs who had had experience of at least I patient with cancer and depression. Participants were asked to rank options for how depression should be treated, who should deliver the treatment, and where treatment should occur. Results: The top three preferences of patients and GPs for how depression should be treated differed (P<.001). Patients preferred talking treatment alone, whereas GPs preferred a combination of drug and talking treatment. Both patients and GPs preferred treatment to be given by the GP, with older patients having a stronger preference for this. Counselors and cancer nurses were also popular preferences; mental heath professionals were unpopular. The preferred place of treatment was primary care for both patients and GPs, although many patients preferred treatment in the cancer center. Conclusion: Effective and acceptable services for depressed cancer patients need to take patients and GP preferences into account. A model of service that allows a choice of initial treatment modality and collaborative care between primary care and cancer center nurse would meet this requirement. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-402
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

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