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Psychotherapy Can Extend Life for Cancer Patients

A recent study investigated the relationship between depression care management and survival rates in older patients diagnosed with cancer.

According to David Spiegel, a leading authority on mind-body interactions and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, the study represents “an important and well-conducted study of the effects of treatment of depression on survival in a primary care setting.”

Spiegel evaluated the research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, stressing the finding that “Comorbid depression shortens survival time with cancer, and intervention with medication and psychotherapy can therefore extend survival among cancer patients.”

The better survival rates were not seen in patients with depression and cardiovascular disease, only in those with cancer.

Spiegel notes that this “is surprising given the well-known link between depression and poor cardiovascular disease outcome.”

He concludes, “Vigorous diagnosis and treatment programs for comorbid depression in cancer patients should, based on this study, extend survival time.”

Source: BioMed Central

Psychotherapy Can Extend Life for Cancer Patients

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Psychotherapy Can Extend Life for Cancer Patients. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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