eCampus CancerPEN In the Division of General Medical Disciplines

Psychosocial Issues, PEN 202: Management of Anxiety & Depression

[quote] No subject provokes greater distress and uncertainty among both families and health professionals, than issues surrounding the use of artificial nutrition and hydration in the dying person.

The video talk and the PowerPoint® presentation are the intellectual property of Dr. Susan Block. All the material is based on Dr. Block's synthesis of existing research and clinical practice experience in addition to her own research work.

[image] Susan Block, MD

Susan Block, M.D.

Dana Farber Cancer Institute & Brigham & Women's Hospital,
Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care. Bio

In this video module Susan Block, MD addresses the importance of recognizing and managing depression and anxiety in the context of life-threatening illness.

This educational material is meant to highlight why patients in the palliative care setting are especially vulnerable to depression and why it is vital that clinicians are vigilant in treatment of serious mood disorders in their terminally ill patients.

As you are viewing this video module, consider the following questions:

  1. What factors contribute to a patientís ability to cope normally? What role do healthcare providers play in the mediation of patientsí psychological responses to illness?
  2. What are indicators of serious depression and mood disorders? How are they differentiated from normal coping behavior? What clues should clinicians be looking for in both their patientsí behavior and in their own behavior as a response to their patients?
  3. How can the exploration of a patientís individual feelings and concerns provide insight into his/her treatment needs? What information can clinicians provide to reframe or address sources of anxiety for their patients?

Dr. Block's module includes the following:

  1. A video talk representing an overview of Anxiety and Depression. A free pdf download of the material is included. References and article abstracts are also available.
  2. A video case study featuring Mr. Cooper, a past resident of the Palo Alto VA Medical Center's hospice and palliative care unit. Mr. cooper discusses how the knowledge and not necessarily the fear of death's proximity can fuel feelings of depression.

click to enter the video talk click to view the case study

"My current research involves assessment of the impact of physician attitudes, knowledge, and skills on the care of patients at the end of life. In addition, I am involved in evaluating the outcomes of educational efforts underway to improve palliative care education and practice. Other research focuses on the impact on physicians of caring for patients at the end of life and on the impact of physician factors on the quality of end-of-life care.

"I am collaborating with Holly Prigerson, PhD on studies of mental health issues in patients and caregivers at the end of life, and on the development of interventions to address normal bereavement and complicated grief."


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