School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

The Effect of Brief Psychotherapy in Alleviating Anxiety and Depression in Cancer Patients Referred to a Psycho-oncology Clinic: Preliminary Study

Poster Number

305

Document Type

Poster

Status

Research fellow

Abstract Category

Psychiatry/Mental Health

Keywords

psychooncology, brief, Psychotherapy, cancer

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

This poster will present preliminary findings from a recent research study conducted at the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates Department of Psychiatry. Psychological distress and morbidity (including loneliness, anxiety, depression and PTSD) may be triggered or exacerbated by cancer diagnosis (Swartzman, et al 2016). Depressed cancer patients show worse treatment adherence and worse survival compared with non-depressed cancer patients (Hartubf et al, 2017). Cancer survivors in the United States reported using medication for depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general public (Hawkins et al 2017). Childhood cancer survivors may experience post-traumatic stress symptoms as young adults or adults. Psychiatrists and resident trainees are not normally trained to deal with special needs of cancer population, and this training takes place within the GW psychooncology clinic. Given the high prevalence of mood disorders and adjustment disorders among oncology patients, this study will aim to assess if our current intervention is beneficial in addressing the client’s target symptoms. The study will examine the effectiveness of brief psychotherapy for oncology patients. Currently, patients are referred to the psychooncology clinic from various oncologists and social workers with the oncology center. Resident psychiatrists provide 5-8 sessions of brief psychotherapy to address issues of anxiety, mood changes and adjustment to diagnosis. This study aims to examine if therapy sessions achieve the goal of helping to decrease anxiety and mood changes and changes patient’s outlook on life. Patients will be administered surveys assessing for depression, anxiety and well-being prior to and following therapy sessions and the results will be compared. The hypothesis is that patients will score significantly lower on the anxiety (GAD-7) and depression (PHQ-9) questionnaires and higher on the WHO 5 measure Quality of Life Scale, indicating that the several sessions of brief psychotherapy were effective in helping them to develop positive coping skills to adjust to their diagnosis and how it impacts their lives

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The Effect of Brief Psychotherapy in Alleviating Anxiety and Depression in Cancer Patients Referred to a Psycho-oncology Clinic: Preliminary Study

This poster will present preliminary findings from a recent research study conducted at the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates Department of Psychiatry. Psychological distress and morbidity (including loneliness, anxiety, depression and PTSD) may be triggered or exacerbated by cancer diagnosis (Swartzman, et al 2016). Depressed cancer patients show worse treatment adherence and worse survival compared with non-depressed cancer patients (Hartubf et al, 2017). Cancer survivors in the United States reported using medication for depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general public (Hawkins et al 2017). Childhood cancer survivors may experience post-traumatic stress symptoms as young adults or adults. Psychiatrists and resident trainees are not normally trained to deal with special needs of cancer population, and this training takes place within the GW psychooncology clinic. Given the high prevalence of mood disorders and adjustment disorders among oncology patients, this study will aim to assess if our current intervention is beneficial in addressing the client’s target symptoms. The study will examine the effectiveness of brief psychotherapy for oncology patients. Currently, patients are referred to the psychooncology clinic from various oncologists and social workers with the oncology center. Resident psychiatrists provide 5-8 sessions of brief psychotherapy to address issues of anxiety, mood changes and adjustment to diagnosis. This study aims to examine if therapy sessions achieve the goal of helping to decrease anxiety and mood changes and changes patient’s outlook on life. Patients will be administered surveys assessing for depression, anxiety and well-being prior to and following therapy sessions and the results will be compared. The hypothesis is that patients will score significantly lower on the anxiety (GAD-7) and depression (PHQ-9) questionnaires and higher on the WHO 5 measure Quality of Life Scale, indicating that the several sessions of brief psychotherapy were effective in helping them to develop positive coping skills to adjust to their diagnosis and how it impacts their lives