Would women with breast cancer prefer to receive an antidepressant for anxiety or depression from their oncologist? Journal Article


Authors: McFarland, D. C.; Shen, M. J.; Harris, K.; Mandeli, J.; Tiersten, A.; Holland, J.
Article Title: Would women with breast cancer prefer to receive an antidepressant for anxiety or depression from their oncologist?
Abstract: Purpose Patient treatment preferences for the management of anxiety and depression influence adherence to treatment and treatment outcomes, yet the preferences of patients with breast cancer for provider-specific pharmacologic management of anxiety and depression is unknown. This study examined the antidepressant prescriber preferences of patients with breast cancer and their preferences for treatment by a mental health professional. Methods Patients with breast cancer (stages 0 to IV) were asked two questions: "Would you be willing to have your oncologist treat your depression or anxiety with an antidepressant medication if you were to become depressed or anxious at any point during your treatment?" and "Would you prefer to be treated by a psychiatrist or mental health professional for problems with either anxiety or depression?" In addition, the Distress Thermometer and Problem List, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Risky Families Questionnaire, and demographic information were assessed. Results One hundred twenty-five participants completed the study. A total of 60.4% were willing to accept an antidepressant from an oncologist, and 26.3% preferred treatment by a mental health professional. The 77.3% who were willing to receive an antidepressant from their oncologist reported either no preference or that treatment by a mental health professional did not matter (P =.01). Participants taking antidepressants (P =.02) or reporting high chronic stress (P =.03) preferred a mental health professional. Conclusion The majority of patients accepted antidepressant prescribing by their oncologist; only a minority preferred treatment by a mental health professional. These findings suggest that promoting education of oncologists to assess psychological symptoms and manage anxiety and depression as a routine part of an outpatient visit is beneficial. © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Journal Title: Journal of Oncology Practice
Volume: 12
Issue: 2
ISSN: 1554-7477
Publisher: American Society of Clinical Oncology  
Date Published: 2016-02-01
Start Page: 172-174, e197
End Page: e206
Language: English
DOI: 10.1200/jop.2015.006833
PROVIDER: scopus
PUBMED: 26787755
PMCID: PMC5702791
DOI/URL:
Notes: Article -- Export Date: 3 March 2016 -- Source: Scopus
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MSK Authors
  1. Jimmie C B Holland
    245 Holland
  2. Megan Johnson Shen
    23 Shen
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