Anxiety and depression are common in palliative care patients. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been recommended as one possible treatment, and it has been suggested that non-mental health professionals may be able to treat milder disorders with CBT. The aim of this study was to assess whether the use of CBT techniques in hospice patients is an acceptable intervention, and whether a palliative care professional with short CBT training can usefully apply such techniques. A feasibility study of a brief CBT intervention following training was conducted. Qualitative analysis was carried out on patient feedback from semi-structured interviews. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores pre-and post-intervention were analysed statistically. Eleven patients completed a short course using CBT techniques. The intervention was acceptable for 10 patients. One patient found it unacceptable due to advanced disease, lethargy and severe depression. Anxiety or depression symptoms were helped in eight patients. This study showed that a palliative care professional with short training in CBT was usefully able to apply CBT techniques to hospice patients with mild-to-moderate anxiety or depression.
Anderson, T., Watson, M., & Davidson, R. (2008). The use of cognitive behavioural therapy techniques for anxiety and depression in hospice patients: a feasibility study. Palliative Medicine, 22(7), 814-21. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269216308095157G