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Depression screening aids behavioral care referrals for breast cancer patients


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Journal
JAMA
Reuters Health - 21/01/2022 - Breast cancer patients who receive depression screening as part of medical oncology checkups are more likely to receive behavioral health referrals than those who don't get screened, a clinical trial finds. Researchers randomized six medical centers in Southern California 1:1 to provide 1,436 patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer either usual care, consisting of education on depression, or a screening intervention designed to identify people in need of behavioral health referrals. At the three intervention sites, patients were screened using the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and referred for behavioral health care based on whether they had low, moderate, or high scores. Overall, 59 of 744 (7.9%) patients at the intervention sites were referred for behavioral health services, compared with 1 of 692 (0.1%) at the control sites. The referrals were completed by 44 of 59 (75%) patients at the intervention sites and by ...


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