Published on: December 20, 2017

Inadequate attention to mental illness seems to be a global phenomenon, as you can read in Atkin et al. BMC Palliative Care (2017) 16:69. Anxiety is one of the major issues that are frequently ignored or inadequately addressed.

Despite the lack of adequate evidence, all clinicians in palliative care need to note: “Australian guidelines provide the most specific recommendations regarding medication, advising selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as first-line pharmacotherapy and advising against benzodiazepine use due to risk of dependence, tolerance and other morbidities including confusion, ataxia, falls in the elderly and rebound anxiety and advise limiting benzodiazepines to crisis situations, including palliative care” (Butow P, Price MA, Shaw JM, Turner J, Clayton JM, Grimison P, et al. Clinical pathway for the screening, assessment and management of anxiety and depression in adult cancer patients: Australian guidelines. Psychooncology. 2015;24:987–1001.)

Thank you Barry Ashpole and Media Watch for bringing our attention to this publication.

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