Elsevier publications highlight theme of World Mental Health Day

Research emphasizes connection between physical and mental health.

Research emphasizes connection between physical and mental health

Amsterdam, 8 October 2004 – Two Elsevier journals have published articles on the connection between mental and physical health. This is the very theme of World Mental Health Day, observed every October 10th and sponsored globally by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH).

In raising the visibility of “The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Health: Co-occurring Disorders,” the WFMH is urging participants to look at the physical health and medical treatment of individuals with such diseases as diabetes, HIV, and cancer, who also report experiencing some type of mental disorder.

One such article entitled “Fatigue and psychological distress - exploring the relationship in women treated for breast cancer” was published in Elsevier’s European Journal of Cancer (EJC 2004 40:11; 1689-95). The Australian researchers compared two different self-reporting methods used to assess fatigue in breast cancer patients to determine if symptoms of psychological distress coexisted with symptoms of fatigue. They observed a strong correlation between the two; patients who reported feelings of fatigue were also likely to report symptoms of psychological distress.

”Disabling fatigue is an important problem for women following treatment for breast cancer,” said lead researcher Dr. Barbara Bennett, Department of Medical Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia. “Fatigue assessments should incorporate measures of psychological distress that can help identify patients with fatigue who need further psychological evaluation,” she concluded.

A second Elsevier article, in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, focuses on breast cancer and depressed psychological and immune functions, and supports the idea of the body – mind connection. In a study entitled “Breast cancer patients have improved immune and neuroendocrine functions following massage therapy,” a research team from the University of Miami School of Medicine examined the effect massage therapy had on the moods of patients (PSR 2004 57:1;45-52).

Women with breast cancer are known to be at risk for elevated levels of depression, anxiety, and a reduction in the number of natural killer (NK) cells. Immediate results of massage therapy with study participants included lower levels of anxiety, depression, anger and hostility, and an increase in levels of dopamine, serotonin, NK cells, and lymphocytes. The researchers were able to conclude that patients with Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer would indeed benefit from massage therapy three times a week.

For more information about these articles, please contact PressOffice@elsevier.com.

# # #

About World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day was started as an annual day in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). Based in Alexandria, Virginia, the mission of the WFMH is to promote the highest level of mental health, and to advance the prevention of mental and emotional disorders and the proper treatment and care of those with such disorders, for people of all nations.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com