Cancers, Vol. 13, Pages 4878: Psychosocial Care for Adult Cancer Patients: Guidelines of the Italian Medical Oncology Association
Cancers doi: 10.3390/cancers13194878
Maria Antonietta Annunziata
Paola Di Giulio
Maria Giulia Nanni
Veronica Andrea Fittipaldo
Psychosocial morbidity can have negative consequences for cancer patients, including maladaptive coping, poor treatment adherence, and lower quality of life. Evidence shows that psychosocial interventions can positively impact quality of life, as well as symptoms and side effects; however, they are not always offered to patients who might benefit from them. These guidelines were produced by a multidisciplinary panel of 16 experts, including patients, following GRADE methodology. The panel framed clinical questions and voted on outcomes to investigate. Studies identified by rigorous search strategies were assessed to rate certainty of evidence, and recommendations were formulated by the panel. Although the quality of the evidence found was generally moderate, interventions could be recommended aimed at improving patient information, communication with healthcare professionals and involvement in decision-making; detecting and managing patient psychosocial needs, particularly with non-pharmacological therapy; and supporting families of patients with advanced cancer. The role of nurses as providers of information and psychosocial care is stressed. Most recommended interventions do not appear to necessitate new services or infrastructures, and therefore do not require allocation of additional resources, but predominantly involve changes in clinical staff behavior and/or ward organization. Patients should be made aware of psychosocial care standards so that they can expect to receive them.
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