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Friday 21 October 2016 Instagram
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Nurse-led treatment 'reduces depression in cancer'

Nurse-led treatment 'reduces depression in cancer'

Nurse-led treatment 'reduces depression in cancer'

The number of cancer patients who are clinically depressed could be drastically reduced through nurse-led treatments, researchers believe. 

Researchers from the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford found that three-quarters of cancer patients are clinically depressed. 

However, 75% of these patients were not receiving treatment and many had not considered seeking help. Healthcare professionals had been failing to spot their illness. 

Researchers suggested that a trained cancer nurse should deliver the intensive, tailored approach. 

It involves: 

 - Antidepressant drugs. 

 - Encouraging patients to become as active as they can be. 

 - Problem-solving therapy. 

Published in the Lancet, the study found that a nurse-led approach can half the depression scores of more than 60% of patients. Patients were found to be less anxious, less tired and experienced less pain. 

Just 17% of patients receiving standard NHS care had similar results. 

Dr Stefan Symeonides, of the University of Edinburgh, told the BBC: "Day-to-day oncologists like myself see the profound impact depression can have on a patient with cancer.

" [This is] a huge area of unmet need missed by current practice."

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