Use of psychotropic medications by US cancer survivors
Article first published online: 9 SEP 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 21, Issue 11, pages 1237–1243, November 2012
How to Cite
Punekar, R. S., Short, P. F. and Moran, J. R. (2012), Use of psychotropic medications by US cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 21: 1237–1243. doi: 10.1002/pon.2039
- Issue published online: 5 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 9 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 15 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 1 NOV 2010
- psychotropic medicines;
This study aimed to describe national utilization of psychotropic medications by adult cancer survivors in the USA and to estimate the extra use of psychotropic medications that is attributable to cancer survivorship.
Prescription data for 2001–2006 from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) were linked to the data identifying cancer survivors from the National Health Interview Survey, the MEPS sampling frame. The sample was limited to adults 25 years of age and older. Propensity score matching was used to estimate the effects of cancer survivorship on utilization of psychotropic medications by comparing cancer survivors and other adults in MEPS. Utilization was measured as any use during a calendar year and the number of prescriptions purchased (including refills). Analyses were stratified by gender and age, distinguishing adults younger than 65 years from those 65 years and older.
Nineteen percent of cancer survivors under age 65 years and 16% of survivors age 65 years and older used psychotropic medications. Sixteen percent of younger survivors used antidepressants, 7% used antianxiety medications. For older survivors, utilization rates for these two drug types were 11% and 7%, respectively. The increase in any use attributable to cancer amounted to 4–5 percentage points for younger survivors (p < 0.05) and 2–3 percentage points for older survivors (p < 0.05), depending on gender.
Increased use of psychotropic medications by cancer survivors, compared with other adults, suggests that survivorship presents ongoing psychological challenges. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.