Lege Artis Medicinae

[SCREENING OF PSYCHIATRIC SIDE EFFECT OF INTERFERON THERAPY WITH QUESTIONNAIRE]

GAZDAG Gábor, SZABÓ Zsuzsa

NOVEMBER 20, 2005

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2005;15(11)

[INTRODUCTION - Interferon therapy is an effective treatment of several oncological, hematological and viral diseases but it can precipitate serious side effects too. Among others the most frequent are the psychiatric symptoms. These symptoms are also the most frequent reasons of non-compliance and early cessation of treatment which can be avoided with rapid recognition and adequate treatment. Therefore, the early recognition of the psychiatric symptoms is of high importance. METHODS AND RESULTS - Authors report a self-administered questionnaire developed to screen the most frequent psychiatric symptoms precipitated by interferon treatment. They also present the evaluation method for the questionnaire, which makes the evaluation of the data easier for non-psychiatrist doctors as well. Between September 2004 and July 2005 all interferon treated patients who also had psychiatric consultation filled in the questionnaire. The number of patients was 26. Authors set up a decision-making algorhythm for the evaluation, so the non-psychiatrist doctors were able to judge whether a psychiatric consultation was needed as well as its urgency. With the data of 26 interferon treated patients who all went through a psychiatric consultation during a 10 months period, authors discuss their first experience, going into details in the three false positive and the two false negative cases. CONCLUSION - Authors founded the questionnaire helpful in the clinical practice and recommended the use for doctors working in general practice. They also suggest to carry it further research with more patients to strengthen the results.]

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