Poster Presentation COSA-IPOS Joint Scientific Meeting 2012

Need for psychosocial care – expressed by patients in primary treatment (#477)

Fritz A. Muthny 1
  1. University of Muenster, Muenster, NRW, Germany

Background: Although cancer patients and caregivers agree, that psychosocial care should be offered there are still limited data on the need for particular interventions in primary therapy and on the question, which psychosocial services are really important.
Methods: 265 cancer patients were investigated during their primary care in two hospitals. The patients were on average 61 years old, 58% female, educational level of 54% primary, 22% secondary, and 17% high school. The cancer had been diagnosed on average 33 months ago. 36% were in primary care, 32% in after-care and 24% in relapse treatment. Main diagnoses were breast cancer (30%), colon cancer (13%), lymphoma/leukaemia (12%) and lung cancer (6%).
Results: As the most important interventions, the patients rated “psychological individual counselling” (50%), psychological pain therapy (49%), social counselling (45%) and relaxation training (37%). Patients expect from a psycho-oncology service, that it helps them “to recognize what is important in life” (66%), “to see the good things in life” (58%), to support coping and to help the patients to understand what cancer means for him or herself (53%).
Discussion: The fact that more than half of the patients stress the importance of psychological as well as social counselling indicates that having a team of psychotherapists and social workers would be the best solution. Based on the fact that 61% of the patients would like a close cooperation between the psychosocial service and medical doctors, an integrational care model or a liaison service would best meet the needs of cancer patients.