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Studies Address Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Cancer Care

Monday, October 19, 2015 1:00 am EDT
"The first-of-its-kind edition highlights how our understanding of effective approaches to cancer control must adopt a focus on psychological well-being as a precursor to success"

A special issue of Psycho-Oncology highlights the behavioral aspects of cancer care, which involves care provided by clinicians including psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and social workers.

One study in the issue adds to the growing literature examining the impact of physical activity interventions on cancer patients’ psychosocial outcomes. Investigators found that exercise was most effective in improving physical functioning among breast cancer patients with poorer physical health and physical functioning. At the same time, it was more effective in managing breast cancer–specific symptoms among those who reported significantly less symptom burden. Also, age and chemotherapy seemed to have significant effects, with the most benefits experienced by patients who were older and had received chemotherapy.

“Breast cancer patients are interested in ways to improve their functioning and well-being. Our study results suggest that patients with poorer physical functioning, older women and those who have received chemotherapy should consider exercise as a means to improve their physical functioning,” said Dr. Bernardine Pinto, lead author of the study. “The impact of physical activity on patients’ quality of life can be understood more clearly when those with poor quality of life are the focus of attention.”

Prof. Jeff Dunn, guest editor of the special issue, noted that the special edition provides an insight into the interactions between physical and psychological health in light of the latest developments in psycho-oncology research. “The first-of-its-kind edition highlights how our understanding of effective approaches to cancer control must adopt a focus on psychological well-being as a precursor to success,”  he said.

Additional Information

Pinto, B.Stein, K., and Dunsiger, S. (2015Peer mentorship to promote physical activity among cancer survivors: effects on quality of lifePsycho-Oncology2412951302. doi: 10.1002/pon.3884

Link to special issue: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.v24.10/issuetoc

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