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Cancer patients with depressive symptoms benefit the most from early palliative care

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In a study funded by NINR and others, advanced cancer patients with depressive symptoms who participated in two randomized control trials comparing the outcomes of early palliative care to delayed or usual care were found to benefit significantly from early palliative care. Those with higher levels of depressive symptoms were found to receive the greatest benefit and had lowered mortality rates. Further research is needed to determine what mechanisms are responsible for these changes.

Prescott AT, Hull JG, Dionne-Odom JN, Tosteson TD, Lyons KD, Li Z, Li Z, Dragnev KH, Hegel MT, Steinhauser KE, Ahles TA, Bakitas MA. The role of a palliative care intervention in moderating the relationship between depression and survival among individuals with advanced cancer. Health Psychol. 2017 Dec;36(12):1140-1146. PMID: 29048177

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