Programme no. 362-P
Public Health
Use of antidepressant drugs and talk therapy in the year before cancer diagnosis
Bodil Hammer Bech*1, Michael Benros2, Morten Fenger-Grøn3, Mogens Vestergaard4, Jette Ahrensberg5, Yuelian Sun6, Peter Vedsted7
1Department of Public Health,Aarhus University,8000 Aarhus C,Denmark, 2Mental Health Centre Copenhagen,University of Copenhagen,2400 Copenhagen NV,Denmark, 3Research Unit for General Practice,Aarhus University,8000 Aarhus C,Denmark, 4Research Unit for General Practice,Aarhus University,8000 Aarhus C,Denmark, 5Research Unit for General Practice,Aarhus University,8000 Aarhus C,Denmark, 6Department of Public Health,Aarhus University,8000 Aarhus C,Denmark, 7Research Unit for General Practice,Aarhus University,8000 Aarhus C,Denmark
* = Presenting author
Objectives: In a matched comparative study, we aim at studying the use of antidepressant drugs and talk therapy in primary care prior to cancer diagnosis.
Background: Studies have found that the incidence of cancer is high during the first months after a hospital diagnosis of a mental disease; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Unspecific cancer symptoms may sometimes be misinterpreted as symptoms of a mental disease and mental disorders may give rise to frequent health care seeking, facilitating cancer diagnosis. Previous studies have mainly focused on people treated for mental diseas
Results: A total number of 257,128 cancer patients and 2,571,280 reference patients were identified. In the 12 month before the index date 2.82 % of cancer patients and 1.85 % of reference patients had at least one session of talk therapy at their general practitioner. The monthly rate for talk therapy was higher among cancer patients from 4 months prior the index date to index date compared with the reference patients.
Material/Methods: We identified all incident adult cancer patients (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer patients) diagnosed in the period 2002 through 2011 in the Danish Cancer Registry. As reference, 10 persons per case were matched on gender, birth year and general practitioner. Information on redemption of antidepressants was retrieved from the Register of Medicinal Product Statistics and information on talk therapy from the Danish National Health Service Register. Utilization of antidepressants and talk therapy in the year prior to a cancer diagnosis (and index date) is quoted as monthly rates and incidence rate ratio using the negative binomial regression model.
Conclusion: At the Nordic Congress of General Practice we will present cancer-type specific results on use of talk therapy as well as for antidepressant. Data on antidepressant redemption will be available primo 2015. According to www.medstat.dk almost 12% of the adult Danish population redeemed at least one prescription of antidepressants in 2006.
Points for discussion: Can difference in use of talk therapy or antidepressants prior to a cancer diagnosis be due to misinterpretation of unspecific cancer symptoms?