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Support Care Cancer. 1995 Jul;3(4):235-8.

A short-term psychoeducational intervention for patients newly diagnosed with cancer.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, USA.


The psychological and medical problems encountered by cancer patients are numerous and unique. The diagnosis of cancer frequently produces psychological distress. A review of the literature and the authors' clinical and research experience suggest that cancer patients may benefit from a variety of psychological intervention programs. A structured, psychiatric intervention consisting of health education, stress management/behavioral training, coping (including problem-solving techniques), and psychosocial group support offers the greatest potential benefit for patients newly diagnosed or in the early stages of their treatment. Early-stage interventions that encourage active behavioral coping and active cognitive coping rather than avoidance or passive acceptance of the illness can be helpful psychologically. These active behavioral and cognitive coping behaviors, which can be learned, can attenuate the psychological distress caused by stressful illness, decrease the amount of psychosocial adjustment to the illness needed, improve overall quality of life, and may also be associated with longer survival times.

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