Dr. Bardwell on Psychosocial Needs of Cancer Patients

Dr. Wayne Bardwell from the UCSD Cancer Center Discusses Psychosocial Needs of Cancer Patients

Wayne A. Bardwell, PhD, MBA, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, director, Patient & Family Support Service, Doris Howell Service Moores, University of California, San Diego, Cancer Center, summarizes the discussion he gave at the 3rd Annual National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators (NCONN) conference on addressing the psychosocial needs of cancer patients.

The system of assessing the psychosocial needs can be defined as treating the patient around the tumor. The clinician treats the tumor while the psychiatrist treats not only the patient but also the family of the patient because they act as the support system.

Bardwell worked to create a plan that facilitates the process of alleviating the psychosocial stress a patient endures during screening and treatment for cancer. This plan was built in conjunction with the standards put in place by the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS). Once completed the plan was adopted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and is being implemented across the country.

Cancer has the ability to provide a profound and meaningful existential opportunity not only for the patient but also for the caregiver. In order to provide the best treatment those assessing psychosocial needs must put themselves in the roles of the cancer patient and imagine how they would perform if they were threatened by cancer.

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