Antidepressant medication use in palliative care.

Department of Family Medicine, Chattanooga Unit, University of Tennessee COM, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.
American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.35). 03/2006; 23(2):127-33. DOI: 10.1177/104990910602300210
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Depression and other mood disorders occur in approximately 25 percent of terminal patients. Untreated, depression and mood disorders can have a significantly negative impact on patients and families. Screening for depression can be done as easily as asking one question: "are you depressed?" A positive response to this question can be followed with one of the more extensive screening tools. Anxiety disorders can also have a negative effect on patients and their families. These can be identified by also using one of the validated screening tools. Use of the antidepressant medications for treating depression and, in some cases, anxiety disorders has not been well studied in hospice and palliative care. Some of the antidepressants can also serve as adjuvant therapy in pain management.

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