In a six-month study patients who were found to be depressed had a 7% increased chance of dying and this percentage increased depending on the severity of the depression. Depression is common in patients with advanced cancer and in a significant number of patients it is persistent.
The researchers examined symptoms and mood in patients using a screening method originally devised for postnatal mothers, containing questions on worthlessness, subjective sadness and suicidal thoughts as well as questions about symptoms and pain. Depression affected 29% of patients at the initial screening and 54.5% of surviving patients remained depressed eight weeks later.
Professor Mari Lloyd-Williams from the School of Population, Community and Behavioural Sciences said: “Previous research has shown that stroke patients who were depressed did not regain function as well as other patients and they had a higher risk of dying – all patients who have suffered a stroke are now screened for depression but this is not the case for patients at any stage of cancer.
“We know that a patient’s mental state affects their physical state but not enough is known about why this happens. We believe that when someone is depressed they lose motivation and therefore the will to live.
“Depression affects 25% of patients with advanced cancer but at this stage it is difficult to diagnose. Whilst patients with advanced cancer are clearly very ill they can still be effectively treated for depression but the first step in the treatment is the recognition that the patient is depressed.”
Professor Lloyd-Williams and her team have been awarded £2.5 million to carry out further research in palliative care. They are currently working on a larger study of more than 400 patients to identify what emotional and psychological health problems cancer patients experiencing in order to better understand their mental health needs and how to improve their primary care.
Charlotte Roberts | alfa
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences