Psycho-oncology and primary prevention in cancer control plans: an absent voice?

Dunn, Jeff ORCID: and Holland, Jimmie and Hyde, Melissa K. and Watson, Maggie (2015) Psycho-oncology and primary prevention in cancer control plans: an absent voice? Psycho-Oncology, 24 (10). pp. 1338-1345. ISSN 1057-9249


Background: One third of cancer deaths are attributable to modifiable lifestyle, behaviour and psychosocial risk factors. Psycho-oncology can contribute significantly to prevention initiatives such as those described in national cancer control plans (NCCPs), to reduce or eliminate these risk factors. However, the extent to which psycho-oncology expertise has informed prevention objectives in plans is unclear.
Methods: Accordingly, 35 English language NCCPs were located via existing databases and were searched using Adobe text searches ('psycho', 'social', 'behav' and 'intervention') to identify (a) representations of psycho-oncology, its dimensions (psychological, social and behavioural) and roles (e.g. psychologist); and (b) behaviour/lifestyle change interventions.
Results: A third of NCCPs included the term psycho- or psychosocial-oncology; approximately half referred to a psycho-oncology dimension regarding prevention and early detection and half included actions/objectives relating to health professionals and provision of psychosocial care. The majority of cancer plans included prevention outcomes and focussed primarily on smoking cessation and alcohol reduction. Interventions commonly proposed were education, regulation and service provision; however, many were aspirational statements of intent rather than specific interventions. Psycho-oncology was represented in NCCPs but was limited in reference to prevention with few behavioural interventions utilised.
Conclusions: Psycho-oncology input is needed to prescribe evidence-based interventions in cancer plans that not only educate, regulate and provide resources but also motivate, empower and create a supportive normative environment for behaviour change. In this manuscript, and throughout this Special Issue on Cancer Prevention, important principles, ideas and evidence within psycho-oncology are outlined which, if properly implemented, can help reduce the global cancer burden.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 30 May 2017 06:05
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 02:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: alcohol consumption; behavior change; cancer control; early diagnosis; health care planning; health care policy; health practitioner; human; lifestyle modification; national cancer control plan; national health service; oncology; patient education; preventive health service; primary prevention; psychological aspect; psychology; psychosocial care; Review; smoking cessation; social aspect; social psychology
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111204 Cancer Therapy (excl. Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy)
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3211 Oncology and carcinogenesis > 321104 Cancer therapy (excl. chemotherapy and radiation therapy)
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified
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