Several leading medical organizations, including the Institute of Medicine and the American College of Surgeons, have issued reports to recommend access to behavioral health support for cancer patients. These recommendations are based on a variety of clinical research results that suggest cancer patients with depression care exhibit improved outcomes. For instance, one randomized control trial in Scotland, called SMaRT Oncology-2, compared cancer patients with integrated collaborative depression care delivered by a team of cancer nurses, psychiatrists and primary care physicians to standard care delivered by primary care physicians alone. The results indicated significant improvement in treatment response, depression, anxiety, pain, fatigue, general functioning, quality of life and perceived quality of depression care with the collaborative model. Similar results were reported by the SMaRT Oncology-3 program, which focused care on patients with lung cancer.
For recent features on integrated collaborative depression care for patients with cancer, see the Academy Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care at: