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Neuropathological Diseases

ISSN Print: 2160-2468
ISSN Online: 2160-2476

Archives: Volume 1, 2012 to Volume 2, 2013

Neuropathological Diseases

DOI: 10.1615/NeuropatholDiseases.v1.i2.20
pages 125-129

Preface: Intervention in Psycho-Oncology: From Treating Cancer Patients and Their Families to Training Cancer Professionals in Psychosocial Aspects of Care

Luigi Grassi
Faculty of Medicine, Section of Psychiatry, Department of Medical Sciences of Communication and Behaviour, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
Tullio Giraldi
Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, I-34100 Trieste, Italy


The role of psychosocial intervention in cancer care has been repeatedly underscored by both research and clinical experience. Several types and forms of psychological treatment (e.g., psychoeducation, rehabilitation, psychotherapy) have been developed and described in terms of both efficacy and effectiveness. Psycho-pharmacology has also been shown to be a strategic tool in integrated psychosocial treatments. The other side of the same principle is represented by intervention for health care professional and multidisciplinary teams (MDTs). Specific forms of training (e.g., communication skills, interpersonal relationships training) have proved to be effective in improving the ability of MDTs to recognize psychosocial needs of cancer patients and their families and to properly refer them to psycho-oncology services. Special intervention to reduce burnout symptoms have also been shown as a necessity in health care staff working in the oncology settings. Thus, psycho-oncology, as a specialized discipline, should be integrated in the series of treatments that aim to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and the quality of care provided by well-functioning MDTs.

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