Review of the history and development in the field of psychosocial oncology

Watson, Maggie and Dunn, Jeff and Holland, Jimmie C. (2014) Review of the history and development in the field of psychosocial oncology. International Review of Psychiatry, 26 (1). pp. 128-135. ISSN 0954-0261


Psychosocial oncology is a multi-disciplinary field of practice and, as a recently developed speciality, covers the psychological, social and behavioural dimensions of cancer. We describe the historical background and changing ethos in medical practice in order to understand factors that contributed to the emergence of this new discipline. Modern psychosocial oncology covers a number of topics; the diagnosis and management of psychological morbidity and distress across the cancer continuum from diagnosis through survivorship and, for some patients, terminal illness, the recognition that behaviour and lifestyle contribute to cancer risk and prognosis, the need to include families and carers alongside patients in a comprehensive model of supportive cancer care. Best practice, based on evidence and nationally and internationally accepted guidelines, is being integrated into national cancer plans, and services are briefly described. Future challenges include the need to recognize that the behavioural and mental health sciences have a role to play in comprehensive cancer care and that multi-disciplinary care, which includes psychosocial care, is the best model for ensuring patients needs are comprehensively and adequately met. The return of modern medicine to a more holistic person-focused ethos is needed in order to put the patient back into patient-centred cancer care.

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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 05:42
Last Modified: 30 May 2017 05:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: attitude to change; attitude to illness; behavior change; cancer diagnosis; cancer prevention; cancer prognosis; cancer risk; cancer survivor; cancer therapy; caregiver support; field study; history of medicine; holistic care; human; lifestyle modification; medical practice; mental health care; morbidity; oncology; patient care; priority journal; psychosocial care; review; social medicine; social stress; terminal disease; history; interdisciplinary education; oncology; procedures; psychiatry; 20th Century; 21st Century; humans; interdisciplinary studies; medical oncology; patient-centered care; psychiatry
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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