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Variation and trends in antidepressant prescription for men undergoing treatment for nonmetastatic prostate cancer: a population-based cohort study


Abstract — Psychological distress is prevalent among men with prostate cancer (PCa). However, the variation in antidepressant use among individuals throughout the survivorship period is unknown. We sought to examine the variation and trends in receipt of antidepressants after PCa treatment, among patients with nonmetastatic PCa. Using population-based linked administrative data, we identified men ≥66 yr old who underwent surgery (n = 4952), radiotherapy (n = 4994), or surveillance (n = 2136), and these men were matched to general population controls (n = 57 127). One year prior to PCa treatment, 7.7% of men received an antidepressant prescription, which increased to 10.5% in the year after treatment. In difference-in-differences analysis, adjusted for demographic and health characteristics, men had increased odds of antidepressant receipt up to 5 yr after surgery (odds ratio [OR] 1.49; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.35–1.64; p ≤ 0.0001) or radiotherapy (OR 1.33; 95% CI 1.21–1.47; p ≤ 0.0001). Men did not have an increased risk of antidepressant receipt up to 5 yr after surveillance (OR 1.15; 95% CI 0.94–1.41; p = 0.16). Limitations include the potential for selection bias and misclassification due to the retrospective design of the study and the use of administrative databases. Thus, men with nonmetastatic PCa who initially receive surgery or radiotherapy, but not those who initially undergo surveillance, have an increased risk of antidepressant receipt after treatment.

Patient Summary — In this report, we examined antidepressant prescription for men after treatment of nonmetastatic prostate cancer across the entire population of men ≥66 yr in Ontario, Canada, from 2002 to 2009. For men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer, the risk of antidepressant receipt at 5 yr after treatment was significantly increased after surgery or radiotherapy, but not after surveillance. Providers and patients should consider the psychological effects of prostate cancer treatment during the survivorship period.



Matta R, Wallis CJD, Goldenberg MG, Hird AE, Klaassen Z, Kulkarni G, Kodama RT, Herchorn S, Nam RK. Eur Urol. 2018; 75(1):3-7. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

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