Barriers to the delivery and uptake of psychosocial care in adult cancer services: a literature review
evidence and practice    

Barriers to the delivery and uptake of psychosocial care in adult cancer services: a literature review

Stacy White Acute oncology clinical nurse specialist, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Kent, England

Why you should read this article
  • To increase your awareness of the barriers that prevent nurses from delivering psychosocial cancer care

  • To explore why patients may decline psychosocial cancer care despite the high prevalence of distress in that setting

  • To reflect on the importance of cancer nurses looking after their own emotional well-being

A cancer diagnosis can induce psychological and emotional stress reactions that can be summarised by the term ‘distress’, with presentations ranging from fear and panic to anxiety and depression. Despite the high prevalence of distress among people with cancer, many patients continue to report significant unmet supportive care needs at all stages of disease.

This article reports the findings of a literature review that explored the barriers to the delivery and uptake of psychosocial care in adult cancer services. One of its conclusions is that people with cancer are reluctant to accept psychosocial care from mental health professionals, preferring to receive it from nurses. This highlights the importance of nurses’ ability to offer psychosocial interventions during routine appointments, an ability hindered by a lack of skills, training, time, privacy and organisational guidance, as well as by a lack of emphasis on self-care within the nursing culture.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2021.e1760

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

stacy.white@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

White S (2021) Barriers to the delivery and uptake of psychosocial care in adult cancer services: a literature review. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2021.e1760

Published online: 09 March 2021

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