Use of psychotropic medications by US cancer survivors
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe national utilization of psychotropic medications by adult cancer survivors in the USA and to estimate the extra use of psychotropic medications that is attributable to cancer survivorship. METHODS: Prescription data for 2001-2006 from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) were linked to the data identifying cancer survivors from the National Health Interview Survey, the MEPS sampling frame. The sample was limited to adults 25 years of age and older. Propensity score matching was used to estimate the effects of cancer survivorship on utilization of psychotropic medications by comparing cancer survivors and other adults in MEPS. Utilization was measured as any use during a calendar year and the number of prescriptions purchased (including refills). Analyses were stratified by gender and age, distinguishing adults younger than 65 years from those 65 years and older. RESULTS: Nineteen percent of cancer survivors under age 65 years and 16% of survivors age 65 years and older used psychotropic medications. Sixteen percent of younger survivors used antidepressants, 7% used antianxiety medications. For older survivors, utilization rates for these two drug types were 11% and 7%, respectively. The increase in any use attributable to cancer amounted to 4-5 percentage points for younger survivors (p < 0.05) and 2-3 percentage points for older survivors (p < 0.05), depending on gender. CONCLUSION: Increased use of psychotropic medications by cancer survivors, compared with other adults, suggests that survivorship presents ongoing psychological challenges. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
SourceAvailable from: Chunyu Li[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Purpose The aim of this study is to assess mental health services utilization and expenditures associated with cancer history using a nationally representative sample in the US. Methods We used data from the 2008-2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and multivariate regression models to assess mental health services use and expenditures among cancer survivors compared to individuals without a cancer history, stratified by age (18-64 and ≥65 years) and time since diagnosis (≤1 vs. >1 year). Results Among adults aged 18-64, compared with individuals without a cancer history, cancer survivors were more likely to screen positive for current psychological distress and depression regardless of time since diagnosis; survivors diagnosed >1 year ago were more likely to use mental health prescription drugs; those diagnosed within 1 year reported significantly lower annual per capita mental health drug expenditure and out-of-pocket mental health expenditure, while those diagnosed >1 year presented significantly higher annual per capita mental health expenditure. No significant differences in mental health expenditures were found among adults aged 65 or older. Conclusions Mental health problems presented higher health and economic burden among younger and longer-term survivors than individuals without a cancer history. This study provides data for monitoring the impact of initiatives to enhance coverage and access for mental health services at the national level. Implications for cancer survivors Early detection and appropriate treatment of mental health problems may help improve quality of cancer survivorship.Journal of Cancer Survivorship 08/2014; 9(1). DOI:10.1007/s11764-014-0392-0 · 3.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Over the past thirty years a number of studies have suggested that antidepressants can be effective in the treatment of depressive symptoms in patients with cancer. The aim of this paper was to review randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and to perform a meta-analysis in order to quantify their overall effect. METHODS: Pubmed and the Cochrane libraries were searched for the time period between 1980 and 2010. RESULTS: Nine RCTs were identified and reviewed. Six of them (with a total of 563 patients) fulfilled the criteria for meta-analysis, but exhibited an unclear risk for bias. The estimated effect size was 1.56 with 95% CI: 1.07- 2.28 (p= 0.021). There were no differences in discontinuation rates between antidepressants and placebo groups (RR= 0.86 with 95% CI 0.47- 1.56, p=0.62). CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis suggests that antidepressants can be effective in treating depressive symptoms beside clinical depression. When considering the risk of side effects and interactions and the heterogeneity among the mostly small studies, a general recommendation cannot be made until well-controlled studies are conducted.BMC Psychiatry 05/2013; 13(1):140. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-13-140 · 2.24 Impact Factor