Potential Future Developments and Further Readings

Chapter 25 - Psychological Complications 

Potential Future Developments

Due both to the increase in survival rates, and to the change in attitude that is occurring from within medicine itself, the patient’s quality of life is a necessary measurement to assess the real and multidimensional effectiveness of treatment protocols.

Thus, the objective of medical intervention in the treatment of cancer patients must be to pursue patient recovery whenever possible, and to boost the patient’s well-being in all cases. To reach this goal, treating cancer from a holistic perspective is mandatory, with the aim of simultaneously alleviating the physical and psychological suffering.

In conclusion, we can consider that the assessment of quality of life becomes one of the best measurements of treatment results, along with survival, in cancer populations. As stated previously, we should understand that, with regard to the future of oncological intervention, we must integrate into medical training both the knowledge of emotional suffering resulting from the course of the disease and its treatments, and the communication skills necessary for the detection and support of this distress.

Likewise, we consider that the creation of multidisciplinary work teams for treating cancer patients, in which the integral suffering of the patient is addressed in a coordinated and systematic way, is mandatory. 

Further Reading

Brennan J. Adjustment to cancer – coping or personal transition? Psychooncology 2001; 10:1–18.

Bultz BD, Carlson LE. A commentary on “Effects of screening for psychological distress on patient outcomes in cancer: a systematic review”. J Psychosom Res 2013; 75:18–19.

Franks HM, Roesch SC. Appraisals and coping in people living with cancer: a meta-analysis. Psychooncology 2006; 15:1027–1037.

Gurevich M, Devins GM, Rodin GM. Stress response syndromes and cancer: conceptual and assessment issues. Psychosomatics 2002; 43:259–281.

Jacobsen P, Andrykowski M. Tertiary prevention in cancer care: understanding and addressing the psychological dimensions of cancer during the active treatment period. Am Psychol 2015; 70:134–145.

Lutgendorf SK, Andersen BL. Biobehavioral approaches to cancer progression and survival. Am Psychol 2015; 70:186–197.

Nayaka N, Bidstrup PE, Eplov LF, et al. Mental vulnerability and survival after cancer. Epidemiology 2009; 20:916–920.

Ryan H, Schofied P, Cockburn J, et al. How to recognize and manage psychological distress in cancer patients. Eur J Cancer Care 2005; 14:7–15.

Tamagawa R, Garland S, Vaska M, Carlson LE. Who benefits from psychosocial interventions in oncology? A systematic review of psychological moderators of treatment outcome. J Behav Med 2012; 35:658–673.

Zabora J, BrintzenhofeSzoc K, Curbow B, et al. The prevalence of psychological distress by cancer site. Psychooncology 2001; 10:19–28.

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Last update: 03 June 2016