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ASCO Update: Managing Anxiety and Depression in Adult Survivors of Cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends a stepped-care model for the management of anxiety and depression in adult cancer survivors in its updated guideline by providing “the most effective and least resource-intensive intervention based on symptom severity.” The authors write: “All oncology patients should be offered education regarding depression and anxiety. For patients with moderate symptoms of depression, clinicians should offer cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), behavioral activation (BA), [mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)], structured physical activity, or empirically supported psychosocial interventions. For patients with moderate symptoms of anxiety, clinicians should offer CBT, BA, structured physical activity, acceptance and commitment therapy, or psychosocial interventions. For patients with severe symptoms of depression or anxiety, clinicians should offer cognitive therapy, BA, CBT, MBSR, or interpersonal therapy. Treating clinicians may offer a pharmacologic regimen for depression or anxiety for patients who do not have access to first-line treatment, prefer pharmacotherapy, have previously responded well to pharmacotherapy, or have not improved following first-line psychological or behavioral management.”

Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology