Study about Stepped-Care program for cancer patients published in renowned Journal of Clinical Oncology

Researcher and project leader Prof. Irma Verdonk-de Leeuw and Femke Jansen published an article titled ‘’Cost-Utility of Stepped-Care Targeting Psychological Distress in Patients With Head and Neck or Lung Cancer’’ in the renowned Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In Stepped-Care effective yet least resource-intensive treatment is delivered to patients first, followed by, when necessary, more resource-intensive treatments. The stepped care program developed for patient with head and neck cancer or lung cancer with anxiety and depression symptoms consists of 4 steps: 1: watchful waiting for 2 weeks, 2: guided self-help, 3: face-to-face problem-solving therapy, and 4: specialized psychological interventions and/or psychotropic medication.

The study found that the Stepped-Care program, besides effective, is highly likely to be cost-effective; the number of quality-adjusted life years was higher and cumulative costs were lower in the Stepped-Care group compared with a care-as-usual group.