Incidence and drug treatment of emotional distress after cancer diagnosis: a matched primary care case-control study

F. Desplenter, C. M. Bond, M. Watson, C. Burton, P. Murchie, A. J. Lee, K. Lefevre, S. Simoens, G. Laekeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background:

Emotional distress is common in cancer patients. This study aimed to describe, in the year after a cancer diagnosis: the incidence of anxiety, depression and excessive alcohol use; the pattern of these diagnoses and treatment over time; and the nature and duration of the prescribed treatment.

Methods:

A matched case–control study was conducted using routinely collected primary care data from 173 Scottish general practices. A presumptive diagnosis of emotional distress (anxiety, depression and/or excessive alcohol use) was based on prescription data or diagnostic code. Prescriptions for psychotropic drugs were described in terms of drug class, volume and treatment duration.

Results:

In total, 7298 cancer cases and 14¿596 matched-controls were identified. Overall, 1135 (15.6%) cases and 201 (1.4%) controls met criteria for emotional distress (odds ratio 13.7, 95% confidence interval 11.6–16.1). Psychotropic drugs were prescribed in the 6 months following initial cancer diagnosis for 1066 (14.6%) cases and 161 (1.1%) controls. The volume and duration of anxiolytic and antipsychotic prescribing was significantly different between cases and controls.

Conclusion:

This study quantified the higher incidence of new emotional distress in cancer patients in the first year post diagnosis. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of emotional distress at any time in the year after cancer diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1644-1651
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume107
Issue number9
Early online date11 Oct 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2012

Fingerprint

Case-Control Studies
Primary Health Care
Incidence
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Neoplasms
Psychotropic Drugs
Therapeutics
Anxiety
Alcohols
Depression
Prescription Drugs
Anti-Anxiety Agents
General Practice
Antipsychotic Agents
Prescriptions
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals

Keywords

  • case–control study
  • cancer
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • incidence
  • primary care

Cite this

Incidence and drug treatment of emotional distress after cancer diagnosis : a matched primary care case-control study. / Desplenter, F.; Bond, C. M.; Watson, M.; Burton, C.; Murchie, P.; Lee, A. J.; Lefevre, K.; Simoens, S.; Laekeman, G.

In: British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 107, No. 9, 23.10.2012, p. 1644-1651.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Desplenter, F. ; Bond, C. M. ; Watson, M. ; Burton, C. ; Murchie, P. ; Lee, A. J. ; Lefevre, K. ; Simoens, S. ; Laekeman, G. / Incidence and drug treatment of emotional distress after cancer diagnosis : a matched primary care case-control study. In: British Journal of Cancer. 2012 ; Vol. 107, No. 9. pp. 1644-1651.
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abstract = "Background:Emotional distress is common in cancer patients. This study aimed to describe, in the year after a cancer diagnosis: the incidence of anxiety, depression and excessive alcohol use; the pattern of these diagnoses and treatment over time; and the nature and duration of the prescribed treatment.Methods:A matched case–control study was conducted using routinely collected primary care data from 173 Scottish general practices. A presumptive diagnosis of emotional distress (anxiety, depression and/or excessive alcohol use) was based on prescription data or diagnostic code. Prescriptions for psychotropic drugs were described in terms of drug class, volume and treatment duration.Results:In total, 7298 cancer cases and 14¿596 matched-controls were identified. Overall, 1135 (15.6{\%}) cases and 201 (1.4{\%}) controls met criteria for emotional distress (odds ratio 13.7, 95{\%} confidence interval 11.6–16.1). Psychotropic drugs were prescribed in the 6 months following initial cancer diagnosis for 1066 (14.6{\%}) cases and 161 (1.1{\%}) controls. The volume and duration of anxiolytic and antipsychotic prescribing was significantly different between cases and controls.Conclusion:This study quantified the higher incidence of new emotional distress in cancer patients in the first year post diagnosis. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of emotional distress at any time in the year after cancer diagnosis.",
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AU - Murchie, P.

AU - Lee, A. J.

AU - Lefevre, K.

AU - Simoens, S.

AU - Laekeman, G.

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Y1 - 2012/10/23

N2 - Background:Emotional distress is common in cancer patients. This study aimed to describe, in the year after a cancer diagnosis: the incidence of anxiety, depression and excessive alcohol use; the pattern of these diagnoses and treatment over time; and the nature and duration of the prescribed treatment.Methods:A matched case–control study was conducted using routinely collected primary care data from 173 Scottish general practices. A presumptive diagnosis of emotional distress (anxiety, depression and/or excessive alcohol use) was based on prescription data or diagnostic code. Prescriptions for psychotropic drugs were described in terms of drug class, volume and treatment duration.Results:In total, 7298 cancer cases and 14¿596 matched-controls were identified. Overall, 1135 (15.6%) cases and 201 (1.4%) controls met criteria for emotional distress (odds ratio 13.7, 95% confidence interval 11.6–16.1). Psychotropic drugs were prescribed in the 6 months following initial cancer diagnosis for 1066 (14.6%) cases and 161 (1.1%) controls. The volume and duration of anxiolytic and antipsychotic prescribing was significantly different between cases and controls.Conclusion:This study quantified the higher incidence of new emotional distress in cancer patients in the first year post diagnosis. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of emotional distress at any time in the year after cancer diagnosis.

AB - Background:Emotional distress is common in cancer patients. This study aimed to describe, in the year after a cancer diagnosis: the incidence of anxiety, depression and excessive alcohol use; the pattern of these diagnoses and treatment over time; and the nature and duration of the prescribed treatment.Methods:A matched case–control study was conducted using routinely collected primary care data from 173 Scottish general practices. A presumptive diagnosis of emotional distress (anxiety, depression and/or excessive alcohol use) was based on prescription data or diagnostic code. Prescriptions for psychotropic drugs were described in terms of drug class, volume and treatment duration.Results:In total, 7298 cancer cases and 14¿596 matched-controls were identified. Overall, 1135 (15.6%) cases and 201 (1.4%) controls met criteria for emotional distress (odds ratio 13.7, 95% confidence interval 11.6–16.1). Psychotropic drugs were prescribed in the 6 months following initial cancer diagnosis for 1066 (14.6%) cases and 161 (1.1%) controls. The volume and duration of anxiolytic and antipsychotic prescribing was significantly different between cases and controls.Conclusion:This study quantified the higher incidence of new emotional distress in cancer patients in the first year post diagnosis. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of emotional distress at any time in the year after cancer diagnosis.

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