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Cancer Care for the Whole Patient

Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs

Editors: Nancy E Adler and Ann EK Page. .

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-11107-2

Cancer care today often provides state-of-the-science biomedical treatment, but fails to address the psychological and social (psychosocial) problems associated with the illness. This failure can compromise the effectiveness of health care and thereby adversely affect the health of cancer patients. Psychological and social problems created or exacerbated by cancer—including depression and other emotional problems; lack of information or skills needed to manage the illness; lack of transportation or other resources; and disruptions in work, school, and family life—cause additional suffering, weaken adherence to prescribed treatments, and threaten patients' return to health.

A range of services is available to help patients and their families manage the psychosocial aspects of cancer. Indeed, these services collectively have been described as constituting a "wealth of cancer-related community support services."

Today, it is not possible to deliver good-quality cancer care without using existing approaches, tools, and resources to address patients' psychosocial health needs. All patients with cancer and their families should expect and receive cancer care that ensures the provision of appropriate psychosocial health services. This report recommends ten actions that oncology providers, health policy makers, educators, health insurers, health plans, quality oversight organizations, researchers and research sponsors, and consumer advocates should undertake to ensure that this standard is met.

Contents

This study was supported by Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes of Health. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

Suggested citation:

Institute of Medicine (IOM). 2008. Cancer care for the whole patient: Meeting psychosocial health needs. Nancy E. Adler and Ann E. K. Page, eds. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright © 2008, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK4015PMID: 20669419DOI: 10.17226/11993

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