Study offers strategies to prevent death by suicide in patients with cancer
In addition to focusing on curing or prolonging the life of patients with cancer, it is important to also address mental health aspects of cancer care, especially because there is an elevated incidence of death by suicide in this patient population. A new Psycho-Oncology analysis uncovers opportunities to mitigate the risk of death by suicide among patients with cancer.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 150 hospitals in the Veterans Health Administration, with the goal of gaining a better understanding of health system factors that may contribute to death by suicide in patients with cancer, and to identify potential strategies for care teams to address this.
Suggested actions identified in the analysis include the use of comprehensive cancer centers and case managers for improved coordination of patient centered care, and the development of a distress checklist using information from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines.