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New research project examines Depression and Anxiety in Cancer Patients

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A new research project funded by the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation could transform the way cancer patients with anxiety and depression are treated in the private sector.

The Ramsay Adapt project will investigate anxiety and depression in cancer patients and evaluate the implementation of a clinical pathway into routine care at Ramsay hospitals.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Joanne Shaw, who is also the Executive Director of the Psycho-oncology Cooperative Research Group (PoCoG), said Ramsay Adapt will investigate the feasibility of implementing a clinical pathway for the identification and management of anxiety and depression in adults with cancer.

“We have successfully implemented this type of pathway in 12 public cancer services and we’re very excited to have the opportunity to trial this program in the private health care setting,” Assoc. Prof. Shaw said.

The Ramsay Adapt study will be run in two phases. Phase 1 will examine the effectiveness of training community-based psychologists at Ramsay Psychology Charlestown to deliver psychological treatment for anxiety and depression in cancer patients in a shared care partnership with the cancer team.

Phase 2 will occur at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital, where they will adopt the recommended clinical pathway for screening, referral and management of anxiety and depression in patients.

Associate Prof. Shaw said if successful, the research had exciting ramifications for cancer patients with anxiety and depression in the private sector.

“The outcomes will pave the way for the establishment of a sustainable model of treatment across Ramsay Health Care hospitals as well as community-based care,” Assoc. Prof. Shaw said.

The pilot project will commence this month.

Ramsay Health Care Australia has launched its inaugural Ramsay Research Month (1-30 September 2021) to shine a light on its commitment to medical research. Across Australia, Ramsay is participating in more than 1,000 clinical trials and research projects involving 27,000 patients.