Little is known about cancer treatment patterns among the elderly as depression and cancer in this older population have not been well explored. This study seeks to fill a gap in the literature by using data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey from years 2000-2005 to examine depression treatment patterns among elderly diagnosed with both cancer and depression. Depression treatments examined include antidepressants with and without psychotherapy. We found that of those with both cancer and depression, 57.7% reported antidepressant use only, 19.7% received psychotherapy with or without antidepressants, and 22.6% had no depression treatment. We found those with greater comorbidity, of a minority race, with lower levels of education, and living in rural areas were less likely to receive treatment for depression. These findings highlight the need to address disparities in the treatment of depression in the elderly population with cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health