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A nurse delivered management programme for depression in people with cancer reduces depressive symptoms compared with usual care

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In people with cancer, is a complex depression management intervention effective in reducing depressive symptoms compared with usual care?


200 adult outpatients with both cancer (mean age 56.6 years; 71% women) and DSM-IV major depressive disorder (identified by screening using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; those scoring ⩾15 completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV). Inclusion criteria: cancer prognosis of 6 months or more; major depressive disorder for ⩾1 month not associated with a change of cancer or cancer management; and a score of ⩾1.75 on the Symptom Checklist-20 (SCL-20) depression scale (score range 1–4, higher score indicating greater levels of depressive symptoms). Exclusions: intensive anticancer treatment, communication difficulties, poorly controlled comorbidities, and people needing or receiving specialist psychiatric care.


Regional cancer centre, Scotland, UK; recruitment October 2003–December 2005.


The Depression Care for People with Cancer intervention plus usual care or usual care alone. Depression Care for People with Cancer: maximum 10 individual 45 min sessions, delivered by a trained cancer …

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  • Source of funding: Cancer Research UK.


  • Competing interests: None.

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