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
When a fish becomes fluid
17.12.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy