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Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs.

Editors

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Psychosocial Services to Cancer Patients/Families in a Community Setting; Adler NE, Page AEK, editors.

Source

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2008.
The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health.

Excerpt

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.

Copyright © 2008, National Academy of Sciences.

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