||5R01CA248995-03 Interpret this number
||Sloan-Kettering Inst Can Research
||Cancer and Aging Reflections for Elders (CARE): a Geriatric-Specific Psychotherapy for Older Adults with Cancer
By 2040, 20% of the population will be over 65. Sixty percent of cancer diagnoses and 70% of cancer deaths
occur in older adults, with rural older adults at a higher risk of developing and dying from cancer than their urban
peers. Additionally, 73% of cancer survivors are older adults. Depression is an important concern for older adults
with cancer, as estimates of those with depressive symptoms are as high as 27%. Depression often interferes
with treatment decision making and treatment adherence. In rural areas, up to 25% of older adults have a
diagnosable psychiatric illness. Additionally, older adults often have subsyndromal depression, with recent
population estimates of up to 40% in medically ill patients. Even the presence of mild depressive symptoms is
associated with significant mortality. These individuals are at increased risk for social isolation with minimal
access to mental health care despite a willingness to utilize these services. We developed a novel intervention,
the Cancer and Aging: Reflections for Elders (CARE) Intervention, to treat depression and distress in older
cancer patients. CARE is a manualized, five session telephone intervention which can easily be disseminated.
CARE uniquely focuses on aspects of aging and cancer by: 1) integrating development theory of aging with
reappraisal theory, and 2) incorporating feedback from older cancer patients. This unique tailoring is designed
to help older adults negotiate age specific developmental tasks and utilize reappraisal strategies important for
successful aging. As a result, CARE has the potential to be more effective than “off the shelf,” standard
psychotherapeutic interventions, applied to this population. Data from the pilot RCT indicated that CARE is
feasible and effective. This study tests the efficacy of the CARE intervention in a large, two arm, RCT. We will
partner with the Cancer Support Community (CSC) to recruit through CSC’s local affiliates in areas with large
rural populations and to deliver the interventions via telephone through the CSC-identified social workers. 476
subjects will be randomly assigned to two arms: Arm 1-the CARE Intervention and Arm 2- a Social Work and
Supportive Counseling (SWSC) Intervention. Both interventions will consist of 5 sessions (45 mins) and 4 briefer
booster sessions (30 mins). CARE has the potential to impact the field on both a theoretical and clinical level.
Importantly, CARE was tested by phone to reach older adults who are geographically isolated and was
developed so different types of professionals (e.g., master’s level psychologists, social workers, clergy,
psychiatry nurses) could provide the intervention. If found to be effective, CARE could be a cost effective, easily-
implemented, first-line treatment for depressive symptoms for older adults with cancer.
If you are accessing this page during weekend or evening hours, the database may currently be offline for maintenance and should operational within a few hours. Otherwise, we have been notified of this error and will be addressing it immediately.
Please contact us
if this error persists.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
- The DCCPS Team.