Impact of Treatment for Depression on Desire for Hastened Death in Patients With Advanced AIDS
Psychosomatics 2010 Mar ; 51(2): 98-105
BACKGROUND: Despite the development of multi-drug regimens for HIV, palliative care and quality-of-life issues in patients with advanced AIDS remain important areas of clinical investigation. OBJECTIVE: Authors assessed the impact of treatment for depression on desire for hastened death in patients with advanced AIDS. METHOD: Patients with advanced AIDS (N=372) were interviewed shortly after admission to a palliative-care facility, and were reinterviewed monthly for the next 2 months. Patients diagnosed with a major depressive syndrome were provided with antidepressant treatment and reinterviewed weekly. Desire for hastened death was assessed with two questionnaire measures. RESULTS: Desire for death was highly associated with depression, and it decreased dramatically in patients who responded to antidepressant treatment. Little change in desire for hastened death was observed in patients whose depression did not improve. Although improved depression was not significantly associated with the use of antidepressant medication, those individuals prescribed antidepressant medication showed the largest decreases in desire for hastened death. DISCUSSION: Successful treatment for depression appears to substantially decrease desire for hastened death in patients with advanced AIDS. The authors discuss implications of these findings for palliative-care treatment and the physician-assisted suicide debate.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Rosenfeld, Barry; Breitbart, William; Gibson, Christopher; Kramer, Michael; Tomarken, Alexis; Nelson, Christian; Pessin, Hayley; Esch, Julie; Galietta, Michele; Garcia, Nerina; Brechtl, John; Schuster, Michael (2006-11)
Breitbart, William; Rosenfeld, Barry; Pessin, Hayley; Kaim, Monique; Funesti-Esch, Julie; Galietta, Michele; Nelson, Christian J.; Brescia, Robert (2000-12-13)
The Schedule of Attitudes Toward Hastened Death: Measuring Desire for Death in Terminally Ill Cancer Patients Rosenfeld, Barry; Breitbart, William; Galietta, Michele; Kaim, Monique; Funesti-Esch, Julie; Pessin, Hayley; Nelson, Christian J.; Brescia, Robert (2000-06-15)