One-year follow-up of collaborative depression care for low-income, predominantly Hispanic patients with cancer

Kathleen Ell, Bin Xie, Suad Kapetanovic, David I Quinn, Pey-Jiuan Lee, Anjanette Wells, Chih-Ping Chou
Psychiatric Services: a Journal of the American Psychiatric Association 2011, 62 (2): 162-70

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed longer-term outcomes of low-income patients with cancer (predominantly female and Hispanic) after treatment in a collaborative model of depression care or in enhanced usual care.

METHODS: The randomized controlled trial, conducted in safety-net oncology clinics, recruited 472 patients with major depression symptoms. Patients randomly assigned to a 12-month intervention (a depression care manager and psychiatrist provided problem-solving therapy, antidepressants, and symptom monitoring and relapse prevention) or enhanced usual care (control group) were interviewed at 18 and 24 months after enrollment.

RESULTS: At 24 months, 46% of patients in the intervention group and 32% in the control group had a ≥50% decrease in depression score over baseline (odds ratio=2.09, 95% confidence interval=1.13-3.86; p=.02); intervention patients had significantly better social (p=.03) and functional (p=.01) well-being. Treatment receipt among intervention patients declined (72%, 21%, and 18% at 12, 18, and 24 months, respectively); few control group patients reported treatment receipt (10%, 6%, and 13%, respectively). Significant differences in receipt of counseling or antidepressants disappeared at 24 months. Depression recurrence was similar between groups (intervention, 36%; control, 39%). Among patients with depression recurrence, intervention patients were more likely to receive treatment after 12 months (34% versus 10%; p=.03). At 24 months, attrition (262 patients, 56%) did not vary by group; 22% were deceased, 20% declined further participation, and 14% could not be located.

CONCLUSIONS: Collaborative care reduced depression symptoms and enhanced quality of life; however, results call for ongoing depression symptom monitoring and treatment for low-income cancer survivors.

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