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Cancer. 1994 Aug 15;74(4 Suppl):1453-7.

Health caring. Psychosocial support for patients with cancer.

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1
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine 94305-5544.

Abstract

Psychosocial treatments, including group, individual, and family therapies, are of proven efficacy and deserve inclusion as standard components of biomedical treatment for patients with cancer. Four issues regarding such treatment are reviewed. The first is need. Significant anxiety and depression are common (and treatable) problems among the medically ill and represent a major aspect of the burden of illness. Even those with less severe emotional reactions need help coping with the stress of serious illness. The second is methods. Psychotherapy, both group and individual, provides valuable emotional and social support and teaches important symptom management skills. The third is outcome. Psychotherapy has been shown to be effective in improving quality of life and enhancing the ability of the medically ill to cope with their illness. Results of various psychotherapies include reducing depression and anxiety, improving coping skills, and in some cases, extending survival time. The fourth is cost offset. Appropriate psychotherapeutic intervention saves money by reducing unnecessary office visits, diagnostic tests, medical procedures, and hospital admittance.

PMID:
8062175
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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