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To date no studies have explored the effectiveness of written cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) resources for low mood and stress delivered via a course of self-help classes in a community setting.
To assess the effectiveness of an 8-week community-based CBT self-help group classes on symptoms of depression, anxiety and social function at 6 months (trial registration: ISRCTN86292664).
In total, 142 participants were randomly allocated to immediate (n = 71) or delayed access to a low-intensity CBT intervention (n = 71). Measures of depression, anxiety and social function were collected at baseline and 6 months.
There was a significant improvement for the primary outcome of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) score (mean between-group difference: –3.64, 95% CI –6.06 to –1.23; P = 0.004). The percentage of participants reducing their PHQ-9 score between baseline and 6 months by 50% or more was 17.9% for the delayed access group and 43.8% for the immediate access group. Secondary outcomes also improved including anxiety and social function. The intervention was cost neutral. The probabilities of a net benefit at willingness to pay thresholds of £20 000, £25 000 or £30 000 were 0.928, 0.944 and 0.955, respectively.
Low-intensity class-based CBT delivered within a community setting is effective for reducing depression, anxiety and impaired social function at little additional cost.
Declaration of interest
C.W. is president of British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) – the lead body for CBT in the UK. He is also author of a range of CBT-based resources available commercially. He is developer of the LLTTF classes evaluated in this study. He receives royalty, and is shareholder and director of a company that commercialises these resources.
No study systematically has investigated the supportive care needs of general head and neck cancer patients using validated measures. These needs include physical and daily living needs, health system and information needs, patient care and support needs, psychological needs, and sexuality needs. Identifying the unmet needs of head and neck cancer patients is a necessary first step to improving the care we provide to patients seen in our head and neck oncology clinics. It is recommended as the first step in intervention development in the Pan-Canadian Clinical Practice Guideline of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (see Howell, 2009). This study aimed to identify: (1) met and unmet supportive care needs of head and neck cancer patients, and (2) variability in needs according to demographics, disease variables, level of distress, and quality-of-life domains.
Participants were recruited from the otolaryngology–head and neck surgery clinics of two university teaching hospitals. Self-administered questionnaires included sociodemographic and medical questions, as well as validated measures such as the Supportive Care Needs Survey–Short Form (SCNS-SF34), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–General (FACT-G) and Head and Neck Module (FACT-H&N) (quality of life measures).
One hundred and twenty-seven patients participated in the survey. 68% of them experienced unmet needs, and 25% revealed a clinically significant distress level on the HADS. The highest unmet needs were psychological (7 of top 10 needs). A multiple linear regression indicated a higher level of overall unmet needs when patients were divorced, had a high level of anxiety (HADS subscale), were in poor physical condition, or had a diminished emotional quality of life (FACT-G subscales).
Significance of results:
The results of this study highlight the overwhelming presence of unmet psychological needs in head and neck cancer patients and underline the importance of implementing interventions to address these areas perceived by patients as important. In line with hospital resource allocation and cost-effectiveness, one may also contemplate screening patients for high levels of anxiety, as well as target patients who are divorced and present low levels of physical well-being, as these patients may have more overall needs to be met.
The complex IT requirements of a critical care unit have led to the development of numerous information systems. In this concise handbook, the authors share their experience and research findings on how to unleash the power of the technology and overcome potential problems. Clinical Information Systems in Critical Care explains the key aspects of the information systems currently available, covering topics such as how to select the best system to match the requirements of a critical care unit, the issues surrounding data maintenance, patient confidentiality and the concept of the paperless patient record. It discusses both the benefits that may justify investment in the technology and hurdles that may arise, and offers advice for avoiding common problems. Clinical Information Systems in Critical Care is essential reading for all clinicians and health managers involved in developing, implementing, maintaining and using clinical information systems.