Effects of palliative care intervention on depression and anxiety levels in cancer patients
Lyons, Joshua Robert
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Palliative care is branch of medicine, which focuses on improving the quality of life (QOL) of patients with chronic illness such as cancer. Patients suffering from cancer are subjected to physical as well as psychological distress associated with their diagnosis and treatment. The purpose of this study was to introduce palliative care and examine its impact on levels of anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Information regarding the current relevance and growth of the palliative profession, as well as expanding areas of research, was included as part of this study. The literature reviewed in this study found that cancer patients are at high risk for psychological comorbidities such as anxiety and depression. Patients with certain cancer types, social factors, and cognitive makeups may be at the greatest risk for psychiatric problems. The data show a strong connection between high emotional distress levels, low QOL, reduced survival time, and adherence to curative treatment plans. Fortunately, there was significant research showing that palliative intervention can improve psychological distress and avoid unwanted effects on QOL and survival. The results of current studies found promising improvements for patients with cancer; however, there remains a need for replication and development of a universal model of care to validate conclusions.