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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 193-198

Mental Health Care for Cancer Patients in Portugal – Implementation of a Psycho-Oncology Multidisciplinary Project

Psychiatry and Mental Health Service, Western Lisbon Hospital Centre, Lisbon, Portugal

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ines Donas-Boto
Estrada Do Forte Do Alto Do Duque, Lisbon 1449-005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_75_21

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Psycho-oncology is an interdisciplinary field that addresses the two major psychological dimensions of cancer: the psychological responses of patients to cancer at all stages of the disease, and that of their families and caretakers, and the psychological, behavioral, and social factors that may influence the disease process. It contributes to the clinical care of patients and families, to the training of staff in psychological management, and to the collaborative research that ranges from the behavioral issues in cancer prevention to the management of psychiatric disorders and the psychosocial problems during the continuum of the cancer illness, including end-of-life care.[1] There is scientific evidence of the benefits of providing psychosocial cancer care as part of standard care in reducing distress and psychosocial morbidity associated with cancer and in fostering a better quality of life during and after treatment, and eventually in increasing survival.[2] Because of the undeniably growing prevalence of cancer, its relationship with emotional distress and psychiatric comorbidity, and its impact on the quality of life of oncologic patients, their families, and health professionals, the need for mental health services for cancer patients is real and urgent. With this essay, the authors intend to present a brief narrative review of the scope and aims of psycho-oncology, clinical practice guidelines for the psychosocial care of cancer patients, and the authors' experience in the implementation of a multidisciplinary project of a psycho-oncology consultation in a central hospital, in Lisbon, Portugal.

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