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Opportunities to Improve Detection and Treatment of Depression Among Patients With Breast Cancer Treated in an Integrated Delivery System.

Check DK, Kwan ML, Chawla N, Dusetzina SB, Valice E, Ergas IJ, Roh JM, Kolevska T, Rosenstein DL, Kushi LH. Opportunities to Improve Detection and Treatment of Depression Among Patients With Breast Cancer Treated in an Integrated Delivery System. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2019 Mar 1; 57(3):587-595.

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CONTEXT: Patients with cancer commonly experience depression. If not addressed, depression can lead to reduced quality of life and survival. OBJECTIVE: Given the introduction of national initiatives to improve management of psychiatric symptoms among patients with cancer, we examined patterns of depression detection and treatment over time, and with respect to patient characteristics. METHODS: This cross-sectional study linked data from the Pathways Study, a prospective cohort study of women diagnosed with breast cancer at Kaiser Permanente Northern California between 2005 and 2013, with data from Kaiser Permanente Northern California's electronic medical record. Pathways participants eligible for this analysis had no known prior depression but reported depressive symptoms at baseline. We used modified Poisson regression to assess the association of cancer diagnosis year and other patient characteristics with receipt of a documented clinician response to depressive symptoms (depression diagnosis, mental health referral, or antidepressant prescription). RESULTS: Of the 725 women in our sample, 34% received a clinician response to depression. We observed no statistically significant association of breast cancer diagnosis year with clinician response. Characteristics associated with clinician response included Asian race (adjusted risk ratio, Asian vs. white: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.29-0.68) and depression severity (adjusted risk ratio, mild-moderate vs. severe depression: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.11-1.88). CONCLUSION: Most patients in our sample did not receive a clinician response to their study-reported depression, and rates of response do not appear to have improved over time. Asian women, and those with less severe depression, appeared to be at increased risk of having unmet mental health care needs.

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