Psychological needs of people living with cancer
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Psychological needs of people living with cancer

Colette Anne Selmer Consultant clinical psychologist, Clinical Health Psychology Service, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Reading, England

The mental health of patients with cancer is a vital part of their overall wellbeing. Unmet mental health needs have an adverse effect on a patient’s ability to cope with illness and its treatment and contribute to an increased burden on health services. Low staffing levels and inadequate training and support in the use of psychological skills may result in patients’ psychological difficulties going unnoticed. This article aims to improve nurses’ understanding of psychosocial issues that may arise during a diagnosis of cancer and its treatment and examines national guidance on the provision of psychological support to patients with cancer and their families. The author discusses best practice in psychological assessment and intervention and the importance of continuing professional development and self-care.

Nursing Standard. 29, 44, 50-57. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.44.50.e9808


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 27 November 2014

Accepted: 20 February 2015