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26.10.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2017 Open Access

Supportive Care in Cancer 3/2017

Short- and long-term use of medication for psychological distress after the diagnosis of cancer

Zeitschrift:
Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 3/2017
Autoren:
Cheng-Hsu Wang, Lynn Chu Huang, Chen-Chang Yang, Chi-Liang Chen, Yiing-Jenq Chou, Yen-Yuan Chen, Wei-Chih Yang, Likwang Chen
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00520-016-3456-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated the short- and long-term use of medication for psychological distress after the diagnosis of cancer.

Methods

Longitudinal data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database were used to follow 35,137 cancer patients for 2.5 years after being diagnosed in 2006 and 2007.

Results

Among those patients who survived for at least 180 days, 20.9 % had used psychotropic medications; sedatives were the most frequently prescribed (14.3 %), followed by antidepressants (5.5 %), anxiolytics (3.6 %), and antipsychotics (2.7 %). Lung cancer, prostate cancer, and oral cancer showed a significant association with the regular use of medication in the first 180 days. Among patients who survived for at least 2.5 years, 4.8 % still used psychotropic medication on a regular basis. Lung cancer and prostate cancer were associated with such prolonged use.

Conclusions

This longitudinal study found that the type of cancer was significantly associated with the use of psychotropic drugs after the diagnosis was made. It provided information about the trajectory of that use and found that a small number of patients were still using those medications after 2.5 years.

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