Pain Research and Management

Pain Research and Management / 2007 / Article

Review | Open Access

Volume 12 |Article ID 150126 |

Lucia Gagliese, Lynn R Gauthier, Gary Rodin, "Cancer Pain and Depression: A Systematic Review of Age-Related Patterns", Pain Research and Management, vol. 12, Article ID 150126, 7 pages, 2007.

Cancer Pain and Depression: A Systematic Review of Age-Related Patterns


BACKGROUND: Pain is a common and debilitating symptom experienced by cancer patients of all ages. Cancer pain is associated with elevated levels of depression; however, age-related patterns in this relationship remain unclear. This information is important to provide effective palliation of pain and depression to the growing numbers of older cancer patients.OBJECTIVE: To provide a systematic review of the literature regarding age-related patterns in the intensity or prevalence of depression among cancer patients with pain.METHODS: Medical and psychological literature databases were searched to identify eligible studies. The methodological quality and outcomes of the studies were compiled and systematically reviewed.RESULTS: Five articles, describing four studies, met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Due to high levels of cross-study methodological variability, a qualitative review was undertaken. Three of the four studies did not find evidence for age-related patterns in depression. The fourth study found that depression increased with age.CONCLUSION: The weight of the evidence suggests that younger and older cancer patients with pain report comparable levels of depression. However, this conclusion remains preliminary due to the methodological limitations of the available studies. Research is needed to more adequately address this important issue.

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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