Dcpc impact image

THE PROBLEM

Ten percent of cancer patients have major depressive disorder. Major depression is known to reduce adherence to cancer treatment, impair quality of life and limit peoples return to normal activities, even after successful cancer treatment.

‘Depression Care for People with Cancer’ (DCPC) addresses this. DCPC integrates with traditional cancer care and provides both psychological and pharmacological depression treatment. It is delivered by a team of cancer nurses and specialist psychiatrists working with the patient’s GP.

DCPC has been found to substantially improve patients’ depression and quality of life in three clinical trials[1]. It is recommended in the independent NHS England ‘Cancer Taskforce Report’[2] and is listed as an example of integrated care in a Kings’ Fund report[3].

Despite DCPC’s clinical and cost[4] effectiveness and recommendations, we know that translating such treatments from clinical trial to routine practice is difficult and can often fail to realise its promise


[1] http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/08August/Pages/Depression-therapy-aids-other-cancer-symptoms.aspx

[2] https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/achieving_world-class_cancer_outcomes_-_a_strategy_for_england_2015-2020.pdf

[3] https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/physical-and-mental-health

[4] Duarte A, Walker J, Walker S, Richardson G, Hansen CH, Martin P, Murray G, Sculpher M, Sharpe M. Cost-effectiveness of integrated collaborative care for comorbid major depression in patients with cancer. Journal of psychosomatic research. 2015 Dec 31;79(6):465-70.