The Potential Role of Peer Support Interventions in Treating Depressive Symptoms in Cancer Patients

Eisho Yoshikawa, Daisuke Fujisawa, Kazuho Hisamura, Yoshie Murakami, Toru Okuyama, Kazuhiro Yoshiuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Depressive symptoms are prevalent in cancer patients and are one of the most distressing symptoms in this population. Although mental health professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists are now engaged in cancer care, the management of depressive symptoms in cancer patients needs further improvement. Peer support interventions (PSIs) in cancer care have attracted substantial attention and have several advantages over support by medical professionals, potentially improving depressive symptoms in cancer patients. However, there may be some potential risks. Several strategies using PSIs have been developed to improve depressive symptoms and have been evaluated in randomized controlled trials. The strategies include education on stress management skills, promoting emotional support, counseling on specific topics that are difficult to discuss with others, helping patients navigate the use of resources, and promoting health-related behaviors to decrease depressive symptoms. In this paper, we present recent findings on PSIs in cancer, focusing on randomized controlled trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nippon Medical School
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cancer
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Peer
  • Peer support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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